Who: Rob Jacoby, music teacher and band director, Alexander Hamilton H.S. in Elmsford
The latest: Jacoby graduated from Hamilton in 2006 and went on to a career in music. A saxophonist, he’s played in the the “pit” for Broadway musicals like “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Book of Mormon” and leads his own jazz group. But he returned last year to Hamilton to teach music and lead the school band.
Why he does it: “When the job opened up, it was a no-brainer. I jumped on the chance to come back to my school. It’s about pride, pride in the community. I had the opportunity to better the program. It is so rewarding. I teach theory, history, performance and technology. I try to give my students a taste of everything. Conducting the band is my favorite part because I get to see the band improve.”
Hard-earned wisdom: “Follow your dream as far as you can. That dream may take you to a place you never expected. Do what you really want and somehow you’ll be able to make a living and be successful. I followed my dream of music and found what I wanted to do.”
A book he recommends: “This is Your Brain on Music” by Daniel Levitin. “It explains why listening to music is good for you even if you’re not a professional musician.”