SHS Music Program Opens Doors for Opportunities


Annika McCanne

Members of the SHS band practice during their G Block class

Penelope Murray, Contributing Writer

Music is a major part of many students’ lives. At SHS, the music department provides opportunities for students to grow as musicians and expand their social circle. When students walk into the music room, it is hard to tell which grade anyone is in because it is a friendly atmosphere. Freshman McKenzie Gilmore expressed her thoughts on the music department community: “Everyone is welcoming, and everyone is their own person, so it’s always fun to see how people view themselves and express themselves through music.”

Gilmore has been interested in music since she started private piano lessons at ten years old. Starting in middle school, she has enjoyed being a chorus member, and this year, she qualified for Senior Districts and SEMSBA. In addition, she sees music in her future college plans.

SHS music teacher William Richter has many years of experience supporting seniors planning to major in music. He said, “Even applying to a music school is really hard.” Richter explained that students must travel to the school where they are applying and perform an audition. Although this application process might seem intimidating, those planning to major in music are prepared.

SHS senior Maggie Murray hopes to major in music education. Recently, she was allowed to conduct the Select Choir. Murray fulfilled the student-teacher role, as she had to choose music to perform, rehearse, and then conduct the performance. 

SHS students interested in pursuing music at the college level are encouraged to take Advanced Guitar, Honors Musicianship, and Select Choir. Since studies are being eliminated from the SHS schedule next year, some might assume additional music classes will be added; unfortunately, this is not the case. However, Richter predicts enrollment in music classes will increase. 

Before 2020, the music department sponsored biennial trips to Disney for all grades. Richter hopes the Disney trip will be offered again; however, music department chair Jim Thomas stated there are no specific plans for a trip to Disney.