MHS alumni reflect on music programs | Local News | meridianstar … – Meridian Star


The Meridian Star asked Facebook users to reflect on the effect The Meridian Public School District’s music program had on their lives. What follows are a few of their responses.

Bob Rice, 1974 graduate: I was in the band program during all of my high school years, and played in the marching band, symphonic band, and jazz bands. The discipline I learned for studying and keeping my grades up served me well in college and still serves me today. I started playing again after college and am still playing today in church orchestras and several big bands in the Atlanta area. I just completed a trip to Portugal with a big band out of Nashville. And by the way, I’m an IT consultant, not a professional musician.

Katy Hosey, 2011 graduate: I was involved in band, AP music theory, guitar class, piano class; though I didn’t know it at the time, these classes and teachers laid the foundation of who I am today. I am forever thankful for Meridian High’s music program for teaching me the discipline and dedication it takes to be a successful musician, educator, and human being.

Kim Kendrick, 1990 graduate: I was a part of the band under David O’Shields and the Choir and Lamplighters under Penny McLemore. These three programs provided me with growth and structure and afforded me the opportunities to develop leadership skills and deepened my love for the arts.

Zachary Ball, 2005 graduate: I’m currently traveling on the weekend doing gigs for big events… My passion for music has been since I was a teenager. I’ve won several talent shows in my life.

Vaughn Arándus, 2011 graduate: The music offerings at MPSD are hard to find at other schools, and the skills students acquire can land them serious scholarship money. We have a stellar performing arts program with world-class instruction.

Gabriel Spells: The music program at MHS changed the course of my life. Thanks to the various music classes I was able to enroll in, I gained a priceless and treasured experience in the musical arts. My guitar, AP music theory, and piano classes gave me an opportunity to expand my mental horizon while doing something I love… I was able to obtain a scholarship to the jazz program at the Florida State University.

Artis Ricks: The greatest program I have ever been in and that’s including the military. I love everything about MHS choral programs.

Jasmine Key, 2104 graduate: Being a part of both band and choir made my high school years an amazing experience. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from those activities, it would be responsibility. Having to balance the extracurricular and also the academics in high school really prepared me for what to expect in college.

Auston Essix, graduated in 2008: I had the best times in my high school years with the concert/men’s choir. I was able to be introduced into the magical word of choral music. I’ve always loved music but choir opened my eyes to new forms of music. Being able to travel to Atlanta singing the National Anthem at an Atlanta Braves game, and compete at national competitions was awesome.

Stanley Taylor, 2011 graduate: The arts programs in general were my favorite part of school. It’s the reason I even went to college.

Steven D. Shadwick, 2005 graduate and a science teacher at Magnolia Middle School: My love for music has been evident since I was tall enough to bang on a piano and sing “Shine on Me” in Sunday School. However, it was my journey through the music programs of Meridian Public Schools that transformed a gift into a craft I cherish to this day… I will always remember our superior performances at state competitions, sight singing, and being chosen for the All State Honor Choir as the tenor section leader in the Meridian High Concert Choir. Although I didn’t pursue music as a career, there is not a day that passes that its influence is not seen or felt. I value my voice as an instrument and aim to go beyond mindless performance because I had teachers that admonished me to note the power and beauty behind the notes and lyrics I sang.


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