ALIQUIPPA − Steps continue to be taken to revitalize the band and music program at Aliquippa High School.
A month ago, the Aliquippa School Board hired Samuel Froehlich as the school district’s new band director for the 2022-23 school year.
Froehlich was a full-time music teacher at Borland Manor and Hills-Hendersonville Elementary Schools in the Canon-McMillan School District.
Aliquippa has been without a group director since the district halted its program after the 2020-21 school year.
A graduate of Montour High and Duquesne University, in December 2019, Froehlich has also worked in school districts in Peters Township, Seneca Valley and Gateway. He is also on the voice faculty of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, made up of students in grades 9 through 12.
“I am so grateful for all of my previous teaching experiences that have helped prepare me to step into this role with Aliquippa,” Froehlich said.
“I am delighted to return to four vital music ensembles at Aliquippa, including a 7-8 and a 9-12 band, in addition to a 7-8 and a 9-12 choir. From 2022- 23 school year, students in groups 7-8 and 9-12 can register and participate in the marching band in the fall and after the end of the football season, they will switch to a harmony ensemble, providing students a comprehensive experience allowing them to explore many genres, styles and levels of difficulty in music,” Froehlich said. “We will also be reinstating General Music lessons. In these courses, students can expect to cover a variety of musical topics, including: music theory/literacy, eurythmy (movement and music), music history, music from different cultures, music composition, music technology, and much more. My goal is that all music lessons not only allow students to explore other aspects of music that they may not be familiar with, but will also be a class where students can express their creative or musical interests. current. while integrating all the skills and knowledge we will acquire along the way.”
While he was weeks away from his Aliquippa duties, “I’m already blown away by the amount of community support surrounding the revitalization of the music program. I’ve seen multiple fundraisers, people posting on social media , and more. I can’t thank these people/organizations enough and I look forward to returning it with outstanding musical performances in the future,” he said.
Some of that community support has come through in two recent fundraising efforts.
The Aliquippa Alumni Band, which formed last year to perform traditional fight songs at Aliquippa Quips football games, completed a crowdfunding program this year that encouraged the community to donate. money for the purchase of drum line equipment for the high school.
“We were able to place an order for more than $11,000 worth of drums in early March with what we had raised so far,” said Denise Drabeck, one of the adults and former student in the high school group who was part of the senior group. . “We were able to get two types of drums of each type with all the accessories (like) cases and stands.”
The alumni group, whose ages ranged from current Aliquippa students to graduates decades ago, own the newly purchased equipment, but will donate it to Aliquippa High School once the group program is in operational again.
Meanwhile, a Beaver student and the New Brighton music store team up for a fundraiser to benefit the Aliquippa music program.
Emilie Kerr will run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 1, generating pledges to buy musical instruments for Aliquippa’s band. Brighton Music Center, where Kerr’s father works, will match donations, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000.
“We call it Run for Your Fife,” said Mr Kerr, a pastor and percussionist who studied at the New England Conservatory and will run the half marathon with his daughter. “My daughter needed to do a senior project for school and since the band program at Beaver had such an impact on her life, a music-themed project seemed like a good fit. I teach at Brighton Music and I know the owner, Richard Schiemer, so I approached him about a fundraiser at the store to fund a scholarship for students, he countered with the idea of directly helping an underfunded school district. in place.
Aware that Aliquippa’s music program was disbanded before the 2021-2022 school year and that new district superintendent Phillip Woods planned to relaunch it, the Brighton Music Center and the Kerrs came forward with their fundraiser for to help.
People can pledge on the crowdfunding site https://givebutter.com/XAMMSC where $985 was raised towards a goal of $5,000. An additional $622 was collected by the Brighton Music Center. More details on the Run For Your Fife Facebook page, https://m.facebook.com/111104991517770/.
“Music has been such a big part of me, in school and in my life, that I knew we had to find a music program to support our fundraiser,” Emilie Kerr said. to help other students live and find love for music the same way I did.”
Scott Tady is entertainment editor at The Times and easy to reach at [email protected].