Tom Chapman reflects on musical career


While on stage, Tom Chapman, band director at Lewis Palmer High School plays his trumpet as he recites his chromatic scales. “The longer I’ve done music, the better my attention to detail has become because the better I get, the more I want to be good at it,” Chapman said.

Pia Lyhne, Ranger Review Reporter

Born and raised in Grand Junction, Colorado, Tom Chapman, Lewis-Palmer band director, has been playing trumpet since the sixth grade and has directed band for twelve years. He knew from his sophomore year in high school that he wanted to aspire to be like his high school director by teaching a band of his own. 

“I had always known I wanted to be a teacher,” Chapman said. “It was about my sophomore year when Mrs. Matzke had exposed us to yet another amazing experience that not everybody gets. And I went, ‘I think I want to do this for the rest of my life. I want to do what Mrs. Matzke does.’”

Chapman had directed a band of 26 students in Kit Carson for two years and found it very different from teaching at Lewis Palmer High School. The biggest difference being the size of the band compared to Kit Carson. The total number of students was about 130 so it was natural that the band was so small.

“Because of how small the school out at Kit Carson was, in order for us to have any band at all, we actually had 6th through 12th graders all together in the same class,” Chapman said. “So the biggest the band was 26 when I was there.”

Music has affected Chapman’s everyday actions for most of his life and will continue to do so for the remainder. 

“It’s my life. It’s everything,” Chapman said. “My life suddenly made sense when music became a part of it. It’s everything I do, it shapes every moment.”