The love for Orchestra
Collins has been an Orchestra Director for the La Porte Community School Corporation (grades 6-12) since 1989. He teaches string classes at Boston and Kesling Middle Schools. He also conducts the Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra at La Porte High School.
In high school, Collins always knew he wanted to be a music teacher. When he decided to go to college at Ball State University, he studied to be both an orchestra teacher and a choir director.
“Music was a big part of my family’s life growing up. My dad was a band and orchestra teacher in Fort Wayne for over 40 years. He also played in the Fort Wayne Philharmonic (a professional symphony orchestra) for nearly 50 years. My mom taught piano lessons at home and directed church choirs throughout my childhood,” Collins said.
Collins has a personality as many would describe as caring, persistent, and patient. He is very passionate in teaching students how to play and possibly perfect learning a string instrument.
One of many things that Collins admires about his job is watching the same group of students from sixth grade through their senior year grow up, mature, and become young adults.
“He taught me how to play my very first instrument. He must have taught me how to play very well because I am first chair bassist in Symphony Orchestra. I learned how to read music. He helped improve my appreciation for musicians. I will make sure every one of my younger brothers take Orchestra to have the same great experience I had,” Juliette Camacho, senior, said.
The stress of having to lead three different schools Orchestra concert is high; however, Collins savors the moment of watching his students perform on stage in front of such a large audience.
“By concert night, my job is easy. The hard work in rehearsals is finished – the notes and rhythms have been learned. I get to listen to and watch the performance from the best perspective possible,” Collins said.
Collins has always enjoyed learning and striving to instill the love of learning in with his students.
“When you see that spark of recognition or an “aha moment” in kids faces, it’s the best feeling to share that with them. It’s so nice to see and hear the progress each student makes from concert to concert and from grade to grade,” Collins said.