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Brian Bankston teaches, performs, writes musicBy Lisa RogersBrian Bankston plays at the Blackstone Pub and Eatery.

what I do. It's who I am, he says.

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don't feel like I gave up on my dream to make it with a band, he says. it comes along, it comes along. But I'm not going to walk out on my kids. I really enjoy what I do. considers himself a guitar player, and he's self taught. His formal training is on the saxophone.

Bankston says he began to understand the interworkings of music while he was a student at Jacksonville State University.

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tell them if you sound like them, you won't sound like you.

amazing to watch them blossom, he says.

whole life is music, he says. in everything I do. is the band director at Gadsden Middle School and director of Gadsden City High School's jazz band. In addition to teaching, he writes music and he plays in almost a dozen bands of different genres. But it is jazz that runs deepest through his blood.

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whole life is music, he says. in everything I do. is the band director at Gadsden Middle School and director of Gadsden City Nike Vapormax Silver

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I feel like I should have been born decades ago, he says. heart, I'm a jazzer, but I sure do love rock'n'roll. uncle inspired the blues on guitar, and his grandmother played piano.

Bankston said there are about 540 students now enrolled at Gadsden Middle School and about 230 students are enrolled in the band program. He can play each instrument, which helps to be able to equally help all the kids.

it's like you have flipped a switch and they understand, he says. rewarding. tells his students who say they want to sound like a certain performer the importance of their own style.

´╗┐Brian Bankston teaches

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In Illinois, his level of understanding went even higher under the tutelage of Sam Fagaly and Michael Stryker.

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Bankston says he thought the same thing when he was a student and was inspired by many artists.

I feel like I should have been born decades ago, he says. heart, I'm a jazzer, but I sure do love rock'n'roll. uncle inspired the blues on guitar, and his grandmother played piano.

High School's jazz band. In addition to teaching, he writes music and he plays in almost a dozen bands of different genres. But it is jazz that runs deepest through his blood.

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not going to get a book out to show them, he says. I had to get a book out to teach them to play their instruments, I wouldn't feel confident about doing the job. knows not all of his students will become musicians, but he finds it fulfilling to have an impact on those who do.

at Eastern Illinois University. He taught music theory and jazz ensembles and was the music librarian.

I got there, everything changed, he says. Chris Culver, he put it all together for me. He made me understand how it all worked. It was like the pieces of a puzzle finally coming together. It all clicked. got his master's degree in jazz performance Nike Air Vapormax Royal Blue

played the cool Baptist hymns, and I fell in love with those things, he says. was fascinated by it. a student at Disque Middle School, he wanted to be in the band. He chose to play saxophone and says he learned so much about music from his mentors, Donnie Abercrombie, Curtis Burttram and Rip Reagan.

went to college and got my music education degree as a fallback plan, he says.

three guys gave me the pieces of the puzzle, he says.

His style of teaching and dedication to the Nike Vapormax Underneath students led to the honor in 2009 of being named Teacher of the Year for Gadsden City Schools.

Now he's doing both of the things he loves.

learned so much from them, and I thought it sure would be nice to give that back to the kids, he says.

It's something he can do in his backyard when he wants a little break from the music. But the breaks are few and far between.

play saxophone and says he learned so much about music from his mentors, Donnie Abercrombie, Curtis Burttram and Rip Reagan.

played the cool Baptist hymns, and I fell in love with those things, he says. was fascinated by it. a student at Disque Middle School, he wanted to be in the band. He chose to Nike Vapormax Grey

two guys took it to another level, he says. Their inspiration showed him even more that he was meant to teach, perform and write music.

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inspiration doesn't mean cloning, he says.

It was always Bankston's dream to be in a band and play music.

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Most of Bankston's life revolves around music, but he did develop a love for archery a few years ago. He shoots a 1964 Super Kodiak Bear recurve bow and has won several tournaments.

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