Hays native takes over renowned high school band program

A student who frequented Fort Hays State University's High Plains Music Camp as a youngster and later as an instructor has been named director of bands at Shawnee Mission East, renowned for its quality band program.

Alex Toepfer -- a 2008 graduate of Fort Hays State University and son of Phil Toepfer, controller in the administration and finance office at FHSU -- took over this fall for Kim Harrison, who is retiring after three decades at the school.

Toepfer met Harrison at FHSU's music camp and played in the faculty big band together. While working on his music education degree at FHSU, Toepfer student taught under Harrison at Shawnee Mission East and taught the past three years at Washburn Rural High School in Topeka, where he also served as assistant band director.

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