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MailTribune.com
  • Rogue River has secondary music teacher ready for fall

  • This fall, Rogue River Jr./Sr. High School may have a ragtag drumline, but a drumline, nonetheless.
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  • This fall, Rogue River Jr./Sr. High School may have a ragtag drumline, but a drumline, nonetheless.
    The Rogue River School District has gone three years without a music program at the secondary level. But this year it was able to pull together enough resources to hire music teacher Ben Noyes to teach the middle and high school students.
    During preregistration in February, music was one of the most highly requested electives, said Principal Jesse Pershin.
    "Everyone wanted it back, but this was just the first year we could make it happen," he said.
    Pershin was able to adjust the staffing and scheduling — without laying anyone off — to accommodate the music program and the additional full-time employee.
    Starting this fall, Noyes, a first-year teacher, plans to offer choir, an audition-only vocal ensemble, guitar, percussion and eighth-grade music, which will be mandatory.
    Pershin said the school wanted to build the program around Noyes' vocal strengths.
    In addition to Noyes' salary, the district budgeted $500 to $1,000 for the music program, "which will basically cover an accompanist for the concerts," Noyes said.
    Pershin conducted an inventory of the storage closets at his school and Rogue River Elementary School but found only two drum sets, some old sound equipment, several horns and a few elementary music textbooks.
    There were some horns, saxophones, flutes, clarinets and other instruments for a band, but that's not in the curriculum, Noyes said.
    "They want me to teach guitar, but there are no guitars," Noyes said. "I would like to have a few cheap guitars available to kids who want to take guitar but can't afford a guitar and don't know anyone with a guitar."
    On June 30, Noyes, with Pershin's permission, set up a gofundme account to raise $10,000 to purchase music for the choir, percussion instruments for a drumline (snares, tenors, bass drums, cymbals, etc.), and a few guitars. To contribute, see http://www.gofundme.com/awguhs.
    As of Monday afternoon, Noyes had raised $50 toward his goal.
    "I really want to make sure these kids are set up for success and feel proud of what they are doing," Noyes said.
    Reach education reporter Teresa Thomas at 541-776-4497 or tthomas@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/teresathomas_mt.
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