Fortuna High School Expected to Keep Music Department After Students, Parents, Staff and Music Boosters Speak in Support

Fortuna High School Band News:

Drum major Justin Peterson addressed the board giving examples of how the nature of a music course puts students in charge of instructing one another.

On Tuesday, August [8], 2017, Fortuna High School Board Meeting was attended by over thirty individual student, staff, parent and music boosters asking the board to direct Mr. Clint Duey, Principal to refrain from cutting the remaining three sections of band from the 2017/2018 class schedule. Stating budget constraints, the option to cut band from 6 periods to 3 periods was proposed last March when enrollment for the proposed courses dropped from the needed 80 to120 students to a mere 45 students enrolling. The current band director, Dr. Sarah McClimon took a job elsewhere. Without a qualified teacher, the music department was set to dissolve completely. Mr. Duey pointed out that no qualified music instructors are available due to teacher shortages, availability, credentialing issues and 3/5th offering. Audience members implored the board to consider the silence at football games, pep rallies, homecoming, parades, Christmas and community outreaches without music. Students asked that a long term substitute be put in place on Monday, August 14, rather than rearrange already set class schedules and class numbers by distributing the 45 enrolled music students to other elective courses. Other options explored were asking for current teachers to fill in on their prep periods during 3rd, 4th and 5th period when the courses are currently scheduled. Audience members were moved to tears explaining they were third and fourth generation music persons at FHS. Board members were moved as well, asking Duey to work a miracle, and stating they expected he would.

Assistant Drum Major Jacob Bernstein spoke to the need to keep the music department,even if it is just three periods, and that student leaders within the department could and would assistant a substitute teacher in teaching as needed.

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6 comments

  • The Apache Warrior

    This is very great news for ALL of the MUSIC students, Parents and Family Members of the Fortuna Union High School District and the Community as a whole. With the support of all of the above, there was no way that the Music Program for the FUHSD would fail. Many, many thanks to the Board of Trustee’s, Administrators and Staff and the Teachers of the District to make this happen. Congratulations to everyone involved to make this happen.

  • The Apache Warrior

    Also, this meeting was held on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 in the FUHSD Library, NOT on August 10th as was stated. Thank You.

  • Glad to hear this. We donate our cans and bottles at Eel River Disposal each month and always give to the Music department. Everything helps!

  • I played flute at Scotia school. At Fortuna High I played flute an the marching band and 2nd bassoon in symphonic band, I went on to play flute with the Idaho State University marching band and 2nd bassoon wither their symphonic band while takin 22-25 credits per semester and earning my degree and licensure in pharmacy.

    My older sister played clarinet from Scotia, through FUHS (also providing the piano accompaniament for soloists) and majored in music at BYU and earned her spot on the BYU Cougar marching band.

    Another of my sisters also played in grade school and FUHS.

    My daughter excelled in music both at Scotia and FUHS both playing clarinet and participating in Camarada Singers. She went on to study both instrumental and vocal music at Idaho State University.

    Music is interrelated to good brain development and musicians are also often talents in science and mathematics.

    Formal music education at the high school level gives many students an opportunity to learn that can become a life’s vocation, self entertainment, or even skills that lead to paid employment.

    My husband began his music education informally with a job at Tower Records in 1962 corner of 16th and Broadway in Sacramento. He also bought a 5 string banjo and a Pete Server “Teach yourself” book and record. He went on to Lear 6 and 12 string guitar, harmonica and a couple other instruments, contribute a body of worship music for the Christian culture, play in several folk groups professionally, and even in his 50s and 60s start performing publically again and self published two albums for our friends.

    At this point of life music is for our fun and every couple weeks we have musician friends over and jam.

    My point is this: music can be something to learn in school that only supports other ways your brain is developing intellectually but it also can provide you with a life long activities. It should be promoted as the elective to take,

    It would be a shame to take the music department to less than a full-time position when it should be promoted as a topic that can enrich all life’s.

  • Victor G. Flashman

    Music is the ONE thing that saved high school for me. Performing in band gave me confidence and pride, and taught me to perform under pressure. Band engenders discipline and cooperation, two traits often missing from modern child-rearing.

    Good for you Fortuna!

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