Dutchtown High School’s newest assistant band director has a long history with the school’s band.

Daniel Modenbach, the first person to serve as drum major at Dutchtown High School when it opened in 2002, recently stepped into the role of assistant band director for the Dutchtown Sound.

The Dutchtown High and LSU graduate helps band director Sheily Bell lead an approximately 180-member band during marching and concert seasons.

“It feels like home,” Modenbach said. “I feel connected to this school.”

The clarinetist graduated from LSU in 2008 with a double major in music education and performance and was in the Tiger Band for five years, serving as section leader during his last two years there.

“I hope to help students through my experiences, both from Dutchtown and LSU, and to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained, as well as some of the personal inspiration I’ve received,” he said. “We have a strong band culture here, and I want to continue moving it in a positive direction.”

Modenbach said a lot has changed since the school’s inception, namely growth, but one thing has been constant: his dedication to his alma mater.

After his two-year stint as drum major and subsequent graduation in 2004, Modenbach remained active at Dutchtown High, mentoring students, giving lessons, substitute teaching, instructing marchers and helping with the logistics of band camp each summer. He also served as a teacher for the talented music program at schools throughout Ascension Parish.

Bell said Modenbach showed leadership qualities from the beginning.

“He helped me teach during his first year as drum major and basically served as my assistant,” Bell said. “He’s been here longer than anyone. We are very happy to have him here in a permanent role.”

Modenbach replaces outgoing assistant band director David Holland, who was once Modenbach’s teacher at the high school.