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Music Program Getting In Tune

Hannah Hulett, Features Editor

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After a successful fall semester for the music department, despite the absence of a director, Tosca Harris, dean of Allen Community College’s Iola campus, has high hopes for the upcoming spring semester here at Allen.

Starting in January, efforts will begin in advertising to find a new, full-time music director for the fall semester, beginning in August 2017.

“That’s the natural hiring cycle,” Harris said. “[Potential employees] have either graduated in December from college, or they’ll be graduating in May, and so they’re spending that spring semester looking for a job. If we start with early in the spring [advertising for the position], we’ll be hiring for next fall.”

Though attempts were made to fill the position prior to the start of this past fall semester, no applicant was found to meet Allen’s standards for the position.

 “We learned of our music opening so very late — it was late July, early August, when we found out about it — and we just didn’t have time,” Harris said. “ We decided to just fill in for this year, and then to hire a new full-time instructor for the fall.”

 Upon the arrival of the new music director next fall, classes such as music theory and music appreciation will be offered once again. As for the spring term, the programs will carry on just as they have this past semester into the spring semester.

 “This (fall) semester, Matt Kleopfer, Iola High School band director, directed our concert band, jazz band, and pep band,” Harris said, “while Russ Vallier, retired Chanute High School choir director, led our concert choir and our vocal ensemble.”

 “Our jazz band and pep band did receive the award for the most entertaining float at Farm-City Days this fall,” the dean noted, “and so even though we don’t have a full-time instructor, we still have award-winning music programs. We are still able to offer quality, and that’s our essential goal.”

 

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