New Faces: Kirk Habana

Mercedes Smith

If you have been around the music department this year, you have more than likely seen a new friendly face. Kirk Habana has joined the staff at LaGrange College, starting classes in the fall of 2019. Habana will be teaching as the applied saxophone instructor.

While originally hailing from White Plains, New York, Habana attended college at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, where he earned his undergraduate degree in piano performance. He is currently studying for his Artist Certification in saxophone performance. Habana chose the Schwob School of Music because he believes that they are one of the best music programs available. He also stated that they have a fantastic and welcoming staff on campus.

Habana was asked to be part of the musical staff at LaGrange College by Dr. Brandon Slocumb. After seeing Habana perform in the LaGrange Symphony Young Artist Competition, where Dr. Slocumb was a judge, he reached out to the up and coming artist. During the competition, Habana placed third overall. Dr. Slocumb knew that he wanted to have Habana teaching musicians, whether they are music majors or not, at LaGrange.

Habana is a “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to the musical field. He can play every type of saxophone with perfection and ease. Of course, this talent did not come overnight. Habana has been playing saxophone since he was in the fourth grade, approximately sixteen years ago. He also plays the piano exceptionally well, which is of great help to his students. Habana also dabbles in most musical instruments as he was originally a Musical Education major.

Band was always a major part of Habana’s life throughout elementary, middle, and high school. When asked what his favorite part of band was, Habana replied, “The community aspect is rewarding. Making music with friends and going through the highs and lows together builds long lasting relationships.”

Habana believes that band class is a special time in every musician’s life. The relationships that are built in the process of creating something beautiful is rewarding and should never be taken for granted. The time a student gets during band is fleeting. Habana remarks, “Enjoy these years because you won’t get those same experiences later!”

A word of advice he gives to future students, both musical and non, is, “Be hungry for music. Practice studiously, go to as many professional concerts/functions ([such as] masterclasses, festivals, [and] conferences) as you can, and listen to and study the great musicians of the past and of our time. You should also enjoy hobbies and spend time with friends and family; your craft is important, but it shouldn’t consume you.”

Habana is a friendly face that the campus has welcomed with open arms this fall semester. We cannot wait to see his expertise help develop the minds of the students as he continues to teach.

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