Photo by Kaelyn Kroger
Music improves overall well-being: mood, stress reduction, and even memory enhancement. This year, AHS has made some tremendous additions to their music program.
As schools around the country are refining their music programs, they are becoming essential for a well-rounded school. There are several musically inclined students attending AHS who have only limited access to singing and instrument related activities.
The new band teacher/music director, Andy Farmer, is excited to get to teach music at Aspen High School.
“Being involved in music provides an outlet for many students to collaborate, express themselves, listen to others, and perform,” he said. “We have a very unique opportunity over the next couple of years to completely transform and develop the entire music program and take it to places that I don’t know if AHS has seen before.”
Emily Brinks is a senior at Aspen High School and is a member of the AHS choir. She has performed in several musical theater productions inside and outside of school.
“This class has helped me to work on my voice more than I usually do, and to keep my vocal chords working right,” Brinks said.
They start off the class with a full vocal warmup and then move onto songs they are practicing.
Brinks also said, “We have also been assessed into different parts of the choir, like Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Bass, so we practice our parts individually, and then we combine and harmonize the song, and we’ve already seen a lot of improvement in our voices in only three weeks”.
The choir is the newest addition to the music program and has had a sizeable influence on its students. The choir meets during the fourth period, and Erica Nottingham teaches the class.
Rachel Devlin is a student at AHS and sings in the choir.
“It has impacted my life a lot,” she said. “I personally love the new program.”
The school band has also been noticeably enhanced since last year. They meet four times a week during the first period. They also meet for concerts over the weekend.
Julia Haugan is a senior at AHS and thoroughly enjoys the new music program. She has been participating in the band since middle school and throughout her high school career.
“Last year we only had one director, but what I like about our new teacher, Andy [Farmer] is I feel like he’s teaching us more important basics that we don’t really know, he’s really teaching us how to work on sound quality, so we’re actually sounding way better than we used to” Haugan said.
Having a new music program has had a significant effect on a large portion of the AHS student body. Join the choir or the band second semester for a great musical experience.
Farmer summed up his experience with the program.
“Running any music program is challenging, especially being a new director. But that is where all the fun and excitement lies.”
This story was originally published on The Skier Scribbler on September 27, 2018.