The Hernandez Elementary School choir.
March is “Music in our Schools Month” in Texas. For San Marcos CISD, that means time is set aside each year to acknowledge the part that music plays in stimulating learning and celebrating life.
The teachers who make the music programs a success in San Marcos CISD are also given a nod as the facilitators to the realms of both imagination and mathematics that compose the subject of music.
“The purpose of the special month is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music,” said Vicki Hicks, a Crockett Elementary School music teacher.
During the month of March, said Hicks, music teachers have an extra opportunity to bring their music programs to the forefront of the public’s attention and display the benefits that school music programs bestow on students of all ages.
Crockett Elementary, for example, has a variety of music programs that stimulate the students. The school is the host school for the San Marcos Elementary strings program. Principal Rick LaBuhn said students from all five elementary schools come for lessons on violin or cello after school on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
The strings program will perform with second grade students in their “American” program, playing three American folk songs. Another recital is scheduled for May. Crockett fifth graders, meanwhile, are learning to play the mountain dulcimer in classes this spring.
Among the program’s assets are the choral work of San Marcos High School’s (SMHS) Helen Miers, Miller Middle School’s Dawn Sheridan-Reinhuber and Goodnight Middle School’s Brigitte Smith.
The band programs at SMHS are led by talented teachers that include Head Director Kelly Rushfeldt, drum line and assistant band director Damon Knight and assistant band director and Salsa band leader Juan Cavazos.
The bands of the middle schools in San Marcos CISD benefit from the high school’s Damon Knight, who also helps with Miller Middle School’s band, and Juan Cavazos, who also works with Goodnight Middle School. Nathan Rolf directs the Goodnight Middle School’s band while Ernest Bueno holds the baton at Miller Middle School.
There are a host of elementary music specialists that give the San Marcos CISD music programs added dimension. They include Joanna Esquivel of Travis Elementary School, Joshua Lowe of Hernandez Elementary School , Kathy Williamson of Mendez Elementary School, Mary Irwin of De Zavala Elementary School, Susan Atzenhoffer of Bowie Elementary School, and Viki Hicks of Crockett Elementary School.
Starting as a statewide celebration for a day in 1973, “Music in Our Schools” over the years has grown to a week and, in 1985 became a month-long celebration. This year’s theme is “Music: Just Imagine…”
Attentive students in music class at Travis Elementary School.
The choir at Goodnight Middle School.