Teacher Feature: Patrick Hoadley

Isabel Taylor, Sports Editor

In his eleventh year of teaching, Patrick Hoadley works as the assistant band director and a music education teacher. Hoadley started his adventure in band back in sixth grade and has continued to play saxophone ever since.

“I started playing saxophone in sixth grade and had been playing that through junior high and high school, and I still have my saxophone, I still play. In college we had a small jazz combo and we had a saxophone quartet, we played semi-professionally in the suburbs for maybe a club, an art show, a wedding,” Hoadley said.

Hoadley grew up in Morton, Illinois, located east of Peoria. He attended Morton High School.

“It’s a small farm town two and a half hours south of here, I guess you could say much like when I was in high school you could walk outside and see a cornfield. It’s similar to Plainfield, but just smaller and further away,” he said.

He then went on to study at Elmhurst College, and participated in DrumCore.

“It’s a marching group that happens only in the summer, it’s really intense and one of the best in the country. I really wanted to do it, and I play saxophone, which are not included, so I learned to play trumpet,” Hoadley said. “It was in 2007, and I was in a group called The Bluestars who are based out of Lacrosse, Wisconsin. I had to drive five hours give or take. We traveled around the country all summer from the east coast to the west coast, ending the whole tour in Pasadena, California.”

Hoadley decided on a career teaching music because it was comfortable for him, and it was something he loved participating in throughout high school.

“I did everything I could in band,” Hoadley said. “I was in concert band, jazz band, marching band, I was in the pit for the musicals, I was involved in madrigals, it was basically my entire life, so I thought okay, I’m just going to keep doing that. I just thought, naturally of course that’s what I’m going to do.”

Hoadley now teaches several courses at PCHS, including Music Theory, Music Survey, and has worked with Chris Vanderwall on a dual credit music survey class at JJC called “Survey of American Music”, which highlights music throughout American history.

“Two years ago, we developed [the class] and it took us a full year to write a curriculum. It is a class that exists at JJC now, but we had to adapt it to meet every day [instead of three days a week], so we kind of had to change things a little bit to fit into high school.”

The class has yet to be put in session due to a lack of students, but Hoadley hopes that in the years to come he and Vanderwall can get the class running.

“It goes through the history of America, so we start talking about Native American music and when it was being settled and go right up through history. What’s great is that you can talk about jazz, rock, and the classical music that was happening here, so it consists of all of the different music involving America,” Hoadley said.

Outside of being a teacher, Hoadley lives with his wife and his cat Kiki, and enjoys playing the saxophone among other hobbies. His music taste spans anywhere from Radiohead to classical music. Something he is looking forward to in the months to come is the school band’s trip to New Orleans and Memphis.

“It’s goofy, dorky stuff but I love it, I really like frisbee golf and I started playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was around 31, me and my buddies get together once a week and we play that, and it’s like ‘hey man, I dig it, this is cool,’” Hoadley said.

Hoadley hopes to inspire his students and to spark a love for music in the kids he teaches, along with giving them skills outside of music.

“One of my college professors had a profound impact on me as far as teaching and giving me direction, he had a quote that said something like ‘I don’t teach music, I teach people how to be good people, and how to work together and grow as people, I just happen to do it through music’, Hoadley said. “That stuck with me forever, and it’s kind of turned into my own philosophy as a teacher.”