Ya Like Jazz?: A Profile on Mr. Gollub

In the daily life of Ian Gollub, there’s never a dull moment.


“One time my car got hit by a vanload of nuns.” 

On a cloudy February morning, HHS band director Ian Gollub recounts some of the wild things that have happened to him during the past 35 years of his life. Some of his best memories are of his time as a teacher. 

If you were to ask a student with a love for the performing arts who their favorite teacher was, it wouldn’t be uncommon for them to reply with Mr. Gollub. The Hanover High School alum is often credited with providing some of the most memorable classes for students, with his sunny disposition, wild anecdotes, and true passion for music. A graduate of the Berklee School of Music, Mr. Gollub has been a band director for fifteen years, and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. 

Growing up in Norwich, VT, Mr. Gollub first got into music because of his dad, who was a drummer. “He started bringing me to concerts (like the Newport Jazz festival in Rhode Island) that I was much too young for at like 5 years old.” 

Hanover was a different place when Mr. Gollub graduated in 1998. For example, near the front office there was a full on senior lounge, instead of just the pit. Being a Hanover alum, Mr. Gollub has plenty of accounts from his years here. “Mr. Murphy once took us on a trip to D.C, and I brought my saxophone. We were probably supposed to be doing something else, but I took my saxophone and started playing it on the national mall. And out of nowhere two of the largest guys I had ever seen in my life came and told me that I needed to be done immediately”. 

Ms. Chambers, a Hanover alum of the same class, also has her fair share of stories about Mr. Gollub. “His girlfriend used to Bench Press him!” said Chambers about Gollub’s trackstar love interest.

Before teaching at Hanover, Mr. Gollub taught at schools in New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Rhode Island. He left each school for the same reasons, either due to drastic budget cuts, or the program being cut all together. At one school, they could only afford to give recorders to the students. 

Though his day job as Hanover band director takes up some time, Mr. Gollub always makes room for gigs. A saxophone player in a band, he plays every weekend he can, and will play for just about any affair. “The strangest gig I ever played in my life was a divorce party. The families of the husband and wife were so happy that these people were getting a divorce that they threw an enormous party.”

Throughout his life, Mr. Gollub has crossed paths with many musicians, including Ray Charles and David Sanborn. On one occasion he even got to shake Mariah Cary’s hand. He’s also seen Michael Jackson in concert. 

Having taught at several different schools, Mr. Gollub also has some accounts about a few “notable” former students. “I got sliced in the arm with some scissors once. I’ve had a milk carton thrown at me, and I’ve had a shoe thrown at me.” 

From getting thrown off the national mall, to getting to play gigs with countless fellow musicians, Mr. Gollub has not wasted the first 40 years of his life, and he’s in no way done telling stories. It’s not uncommon for him to raise his baton, the entire band ready to play, and then proceed to lower his baton, and tell an obscure anecdote about his life that will leave you both scratching your head, and laughing your face off. 


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