By Ryan Lengerich
Janet Bernard studied music therapy in college, but said there weren’t enough jobs in the field. So she went back to school for her education degree.
Now in her third year as Lincoln Jackson Elementary School music teacher, Bernard said she doesn’t regret the decision at all.
“I love it because it is active and the kids enjoy it and I love to watch their face as they learn to sing and dance,” Bernard said. “Music is not an extra, it’s an integral part of the curriculum and kids need music to develop their brain and energy.”
Today kicks off the 26th annual “Music in Our Schools Week,” throughout the Clovis school district. The week was made official with a proclamation by the school board at a Feb. 10 meeting.
Music events will be held throughout the week including a Grand Concert on Thursday featuring performances by the Gattis Junior High Varsity Band, Mesa Elementary Music Group, Sandia Elementary Music Group, Marshall Junior High Choir and the Clovis High School Symphony Band and Chorale.
Virginia Morrison, has been the Choir Director at Yucca Junior High for seven years. Her choir performs every nine weeks locally and around the state.
“I think kids need to be involved in something,” Morrison said “The more things you how to do the better prepared you are for life.”
Morrison said the support from the school district for music programs has been strong, but the state support is not sufficient.
“Fund-raising is the only thing about my job I hate, and I shouldn’t be asked to fund-raise to provide textbooks for my kids, which I do,” Morrison said. “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t think it was worth it in the long run.”
Wayne Anderson, coordinator of music for Clovis public schools said he began leading music when he was 8.
“It has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember a time it hasn’t been there — through the good times, happy times and sad time it is something I can fall on,” Anderson said.
Anderson is in his 30th year with the Clovis school district. Under his guidance, this year’s Clovis marching band won the Zia Marching Championship at the University of New Mexico. It is the musical equivalent of a state championship. Anderson said 44 students were selected to the all-state band squad.
“Research tells us that music makes you better in literally all areas — physical, mental, spiritual,” Anderson said. “Music helps in all areas of curriculum and I just can’t imagine a school that didn’t have it.”
Music in Our Schools events
n Bella Vista Spring Musical at Bella Vista Multi-Purpose Room, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
n Marshall Choirs Spring Concert at Marshall Auditorium, 7 p.m.
n Clovis MIOSW “Grand Concert” at Marshall Auditorium, 7 p.m. featuring Gattis Junior High Varsity Band, Mesa Elementary Music Group, Sandia Elementary Music Group, Marshall Junior High Choir, Clovis High Schools Chorale and CHS Symphony Ban.
n El Desayuno Kiwanis Piano Festival at Marshall Auditorium, 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
n El Desayuno Kiwanis Vocal and Instrumental Solo Festival at Clovis High School campus, 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.