One Class at a Time: Mr. Kestner

Making music happen in Princeville at all levels
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 11:53 AM CDT
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PRINCEVILLE (Heart of Illinois ABC) - That’s just a sample of the smooth sounds coming out of the Princeville Band Program under the direction of Maxwell Kestner.

“I started band in 5th grade, I played the saxophone, I hated it, but my parents wouldn’t let me drop after just a little bit, so I tried out the trombone, loved it so decided to stick with it.”

So, much so, he decided to make a career out of it, ending his early pursuit of an engineering degree.

“I thought about it, and there’s only one class in school that I never ever was like I’m not going to go to and that’s band. I talked to my band director about it and sounds like you’re talking music education.”

His next task, finding the right job.

“The places I was looking to teach at I was hoping to find a smaller school like this, it is sort of what I grew up with.”

Leaving his hometown of Arthur, ultimately to secure a teaching job in Princeville.

“The really cool thing about working in a smaller district like this, I am the one band guy for the district. I start them when they’re little 5th graders at the grade school. If they stick with it I get to teach them and watch them grow up all the way to their senior year.”

Many of his students present for the moment we arrived to present the check.

As to what the money will be used for, Mr. Kestner says it will help upgrade a few items in the music room in order to enhance the sound.

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