Prier: Life lessons are taught through music

Editor’s Note: When the new school year begins this week, Holly Prier will be at the podium ready to lead the Clear Lake High School instrumental music program. An article written by Angie Hagerty for Iowa State University’s Script & Score magazine, discusses Prier’s own high school band experience, her rise to become drum major at ISU, and life lessons she hopes to teach with music.  The following features excerpts from Hagerty’s original story, as well as comments Prier shared upon her arrival in Clear Lake.

The snow crunched under Holly Prier’s feet as she trudged through the parking lot toward the Emmetsburg High School doors. It was February 2016, just a few days after a heavy snowfall covered northwest Iowa under a blanket of white.

Prier had recently earned her degree in music education from Iowa State and was in town to interview for a band director position. Despite the frosty introduction to Emmetsburg, Prier received a warm reception from school administrators during the job interview. As the interview progressed, Prier could feel her previously carved out career plans melting away.

“I had always envisioned myself teaching in Ames or Des Moines,” she said. “However, I was quickly charmed by Emmetsburg, impressed with the supportive administration and so excited about the possibilities of this job, which entailed rebuilding the band program.”

Prier left the interview feeling excited about the job and had barely left the northwest Iowa town of 4,000 when she got the call offering her the job.

Michael Golemo, professor of music and director of bands at Iowa State, said Prier was a sound choice for the position.

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