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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

New FCHS band director will focus on growth, quality
Robb Shipp has taught music, directed bands for 10 years
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Photo by Brandon Osgood: New band director Robb Shipp plays his trombone inside the band room at Franklin County High School.

Monday, July 8, 2013

By BRANDON OSGOOD - Special to the News-Post

Robb Shipp hopes to foster growth and emphasize quality as he succeeds Denise Aspell as director of the Franklin County High School Band.

Shipp, 32, a native of Staunton, had been a band director at Altavista Combined School for five years before being named band director at FCHS last month.

Although he enjoyed working in Altavista, Shipp applied for the Franklin County position because he wanted to be connected to the community. He has lived in Franklin County with his wife, Joanna, and their daughter for two years and wanted to work in the place where he resides.

Since Shipp signed his contract in June, he has already held miniature camps for new members of the marching band and the drumline.

"The kids have good energy. There is a good core here, but we must to continue to build up the program," Shipp said.

Shipp earned a bachelor's degree in music at Bridgewater College, where he was a member of the jazz band, concert band, trombone ensemble, brass ensemble and pep band.

Before working at Altavista Combined School, Shipp spent five years working in Cumberland County, teaching music for both middle and high school students. During his 10 years of teaching music, Shipp said he has not missed performing. Instead, he gets satisfaction through helping students reach their full potential.

However, Shipp recently performed with the Liber-T-Bones, a Lynchburg based trombone ensemble under the direction of Dr. Chiarizzo, associate professor of music at Liberty University.

One of the goals Shipp has set for himself is to get at least 10 percent of the student body at Franklin County High School involved in the band program. He plans to accomplish this by expanding the program's recruiting efforts.

Shipp said he is excited for the upcoming school year and is looking forward to his time working in Franklin County.

Aspell resigned in June to take a position in another school district.

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