BRADENTON — Identical twins Andrea and Kelly Hatin had an identical dream as 2003 Southeast High School graduates.
To teach at their alma mater.
Seven years later that dream has come true for Andrea.
The former Southeast mellophonist is the Marching Seminoles’ new band director.
“It’s surreal when I walk the hallways,” said 25-year-old Hatin (pronounced Hatton) as Wednesday’s practice began. “I remember when the job was posted, they say visualize what you want. So I did. I love this school. It’s great to be back home.”
She succeeds Ron Lambert, who returned to Lakewood Ranch High’s band program after two years at Southeast.
“I’m glad to see her doing this,” Kelly Hatin said. “It’s heartwarming.”
Both Hatins went to Florida State and performed with the Marching Chiefs en route to earning their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music performance.
Now Andrea Hatin’s back at Southeast.
Once a Seminole, always a Seminole.
“She understands what it means to be a Seminole — on two different levels,” said senior drum major Errol Nelson. “She’s receptive to what we do, how it’s changed over the years. But she brings back that old school spirit.”
It’s hard to tell Seminole traditions apart sometimes, Hatin kidded, putting her 70-plus band members through a particular marching drill in the stadium parking lot.
“A lot of it is still the same, but I’m not sure if I did it here or at FSU, but I’ve done them before,” Hatin said. “I get them mixed up — Seminoles here, Seminoles there. It blends together when you get my age.”
Stability is something else Hatin wants to bring to the band program.
She is the school’s fifth band director this decade.
“These kids have had three band directors just like I did, and that can be hard,” Hatin said. “But each of those band directors brought something to me — their own styles, talents and quirks — I wouldn’t have had otherwise and I’m better for it.
“I want these kids to know my world will center around them. They’re very important to me. I plan to stay as long as I can.
“I don’t blame anyone for going where you’re supposed to go. For me, it’s here.”
Senior Amber Wolabaugh was glad to hear it.
“It’s encouraging,” the flutist said.
“We have had a lot of band directors.”
Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 745-7055.