BHS gets new band director


New band director Jason Costabile helps out students during Wind Ensemble.

Kaleigh Inniss, Staff Writer

After former BHS Band director Dan Foster relocated to Crystal Lake South in August, Belvidere welcomed new band director Jason Costabile. 

Foster’s departure surprised a lot of his students. However, while some students were upset, Costabile said he was grateful to his predecessor. 

“Foster was nothing but helpful to me in making the transition,” he said. “He made the transition very easy and welcoming.”

Costabile said that he had an eye on this position before Foster left and applied right away when he saw the position was open.

Although this is Costabile’s first teaching position, he is no stranger to music.  Both of his parents are musicians; his dad is a drummer, and his mom is a low brass player. 

“I’ve always been around music,” Costabile said. “We always had music playing, and I was always listening to it.” 

Costabile had a toy piano as a kid and started learning the drums at the age of eight. Music class was his favorite during elementary school. He joined band in fifth grade, opting to play the euphonium, and in sixth grade, he also started playing percussion. Costabile later switched to full-time percussion in 7th grade.

He participated in band throughout high school and even joined competitive show choir towards the end of his freshman year, doing that for two years. He played music throughout college and still tries to play now. 

According to Costabile, teaching was not his initial plan. In high school he gave up his lunch hour to work as a peer tutor, where he found that he had a natural talent for helping people.

“I wanted to blend that desire to help people with my love of music,” he said. 

This desire led him to pursue music therapy at Wartburg College where he got his bachelor’s degree before pursuing a teaching degree at Vandercook College of Music in Chicago. Music education is something that he said he was “peer pressured” into it by friends and family. 

Coming into BHS, Costabile was confident in his abilities to relate to the students, given his proximity in age to them, and wasn’t intimidated by coming into a program that was already so loyal to Foster.

In the week before the band’s August band camp, he was at another high school’s band camp, which he feels helped his transition over to BHS. He came in with the mentality that he was going to teach the way that he teaches, but respect and keep traditions and procedures the same. 

“It’s interesting to see how other teachers do things,” he said.

The environment developed by Foster was vastly different than what he aims for at Belvidere, Costabile said. However, while he brings a looser approach to the band, he said he has felt nothing but positive energy from his new students and has grown a strong connection with the band.

“With any new teacher or director, we’re still getting used to him,” senior drum major Will Griffis. “We’re still adapting and changing as a band; that’s not just something that happened at the beginning of the year.”

The last four months have been an experiment that Costabile feels like has been going well with the help of the senior class.  

“I don’t think that I could’ve asked for a better place to start my career,” he said. “It has been challenging, but it also has been fulfilling.”