By: Jodi Maloney
If you know anything about me, it would be that I have always been involved with music. Music has always been a big part of my life, as it has been for many of the 71 seniors in the music department this year. My college essay was about bagpipes which I started teaching myself freshman year. Through ten teachers and eleven years in at least seven different ensembles, I didn’t realize until recently that I had become a part of a big, yet tight-knit family most know as the JCHS Music Department.
Traveling back in time to the first day of sixth grade, it happened to be the day the band, chorus and orchestra classes met. There was a short time after when I was unsure about whether I should stay in the Music Department. This was mostly out of frustration since I didn’t know which ensemble I should have gone to, so I decided to stay in my normal class. Had I quit, I would have never been faced with the opportunities I have come across throughout the rest of my school career. Some of the priceless opportunities included performing at Disney World and Toronto through the JCHS Tours, being part of the Spring Musicals, and meeting friends and teachers who I will cherish for the rest of my life.
While I can’t thank every teacher I have had throughout the past ten years, there are many different ways that each one has touched my life. The final event, which is the music dinner on June 12th, will hopefully be an opportunity to thank all of them.
First, I would like to thank Mrs. Timpson for first exposing me to music. Mrs. Timpson, while now my high school chorus teacher, has been with me since preschool. She was the first one to point out that I had a musical ear to my parents. She was also one of the main reasons that I pursued piano and still do chorus today. It’s crazy to think that fifteen years have passed since preschool, and now I’m ending my high school chorus (and Madrigals) career with her at the Art and Tech Show. I hope to keep in touch with her after high school, and I’m excited to come back and visit her during breaks from college to tell her about the new experiences I will have had.
Next, I would like to thank Mrs. Phillip, my current orchestra teacher. Every day during our orchestra class, she gives life lessons pertaining to the pieces we play, putting analogies into music. In the ten months I’ve gotten to know her, we have grown close. A violist herself, she has helped me with my technique and playing and has become a mentor to me, making sure that I can play to the best of my abilities. She is one of the many teachers I plan to talk to after graduation, and I’m excited for both her and Mr. Lienhard to see how I improve as a musician during college.
Lastly, Mr. Lienhard has been with me from third grade to last year. It was because of him that I kept playing the viola for all this time. His humor and passion for orchestra kept me excited to play each piece we learned during lessons or orchestra class. Because of the close relationship we had, I could go to him for anything. While he isn’t my teacher this year, I know the offer still stands. I had the honor to take Mr. Lienhard to the Academic Banquet in May, making it a fun night of jokes and laughter with him and my parents. After I graduate, I look forward to keeping in touch with him for a long time
I really would not be myself had it not been for being involved with so many things in the Music Department. I’ve discovered my lifelong passion, favorite pastime and class throughout my ten years being involved at school. Although I may not pursue a music major, I hope to continue with playing in an ensemble at the College of New Jersey. Whether it be chorus, orchestra or a group of friends playing together, it’s because of the teachers and the close bonds I’ve made in the Music Department that I’m excited to meet like-minded musicians in college.
My advice for anyone hesitating to join or continue participating in the music department is to keep pushing through it. Hearing your first piece with the band, chorus, orchestra or pit is a gratifying experience and it’s amazing how a couple of instruments or voices coming together can make intricate melodies and music.