As a kindergartener at Hyattsville ES, Lionel J. Harrell, PGCPS Instrumental Music Supervisor did not realize his career path had already begun with the school system.
Harrell said, “I have a unique experience with PGCPS — from learning the art of music as a student, exploring musical concepts with students as a teacher, and now that I am the Instrumental Music Supervisor for PGCPS — I have the opportunity to shape music.”
Harrell realized he had a passion for music during his 7th grade year at Hyattsville MS, and is still embarrassed of the recruitment video that was recorded for the PGCPS Instrumental Music Department during this time.
“It was shown on TV96 and also used as an informational video for newly hired instrumental music teachers for many years,” said Harrell. “It was always embarrassingly funny to watch the new teachers or past students look at the video and realize it was me playing the trombone.”
Harrell graduated from Northwestern HS and received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Bowie State and a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Coppin State University.
“During my four years in high school, I was able to meet so many people that were apart of an extraordinary musical family,” said Harrell. “It's one reason why I'm still involved in so many musical things today, because it brings joy to my life.”
He joined PGCPS as a teacher in 1999 and encourages students to work hard from day one for what they believe in.
Harrell continues to follow his passion for music and plays with the Washington Redskins Marching Band and other musical community groups throughout the area in his spare time. He has also had the opportunity to perform with The Temptations, The Dells, Peaches and Herb, and Heritage Trombone Quartet.
Harrell’s advice to students, “Do not be a follower just because you are afraid to stand alone and be different. Success is not always rewarded right away but if you put 100% into what you do and enjoy it — your rewards will be worth it.”