Gaither High School's Conservatory of Music and Leadership
Gaither High School’s music program is more dynamic than ever. The school has a long-standing history of producing superior music ensembles and is jazzed to introduce its new Conservatory of Music and Leadership to an already outstanding program.
“We help develop leadership skills so they can take those skills beyond high school and beyond their music programs and apply it to the various aspects of life,” said Kristy Dell, Gaither’s Associate Director of Bands.
That character development is already paying off for senior Jeremiah Buford-Suber, a chorus student who also plays on the school’s football team. “(The program) teaches me how to be a more mature student--I can use it at practice for the football team but it really makes me a better person when dealing with people socially,” explained Buford-Suber.
Violin Section Leader Cynthia Hinderscheid has grown to love the curriculum which is centered around Sean Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.
“It touches a lot on the personal victory first--how to assess yourself before going out in the real world. It’s important to have your own head screwed on straight before you can go out and lead others,” said Hinderscheid. She also appreciates how the book helps her think about her future goals.
“A typical music class you have your fundamentals solely being around performance of music. This class is more of a how would you take music and use it to make the world a better place,” stated junior Andrea Velazquez-Alaya, a flute and oboe student.
The Conservatory of Music and Leadership has a structured four-year curriculum. Dell explained, “Students will take two leadership classes, a music technology class, music theory and music appreciation classes, and of course ensembles in their respective musical component.”
Gaither High School offers a variety of musical classes.
“We have multiple concert bands, marching band, and a jazz ensemble. We have multiple choruses, orchestras, keyboard, guitar, Starettes, and we are really excited to now be able to offer our Leadership Conservatory,” stated Luis Alvarez, the school’s Director of Bands.
Those who complete the four-year curriculum will also have the opportunity to earn dual enrollment credit. “Students are able to take two to four music classes (6 to 12 credit hours) which will apply to any major that they choose to pursue in the future,” explained Dell.
With plenty of music classes, dual enrollment opportunities, and developing leadership skills, it is clear Gaither High School’s Conservatory of Music and Leadership is doing its part in preparing students for life.
As for those life skills and close bonds, Buford-Suber passionately encourages other students to join the music program. “There are people that I probably would have never interacted with if I wasn’t in chorus,” he said. “We are a very hard-working program and we will welcome you with open arms as if we always knew you.”