As school budgets tighten across the nation, many schools eliminate programs such as music as a way of making ends meet. Don’t count Lassen High School among them.
This fall Ben Wade, artistic director and conductor of the Susanville Symphony will assume responsibility as the new music teacher at the high school, succeeding Carlin Hagen, who recently retired after many years at the school. Wade and LHS Principal Bill McCabe hope the new program will benefit the students and the community.
Wade said he will teach five periods in what he called a transition year. Wade said his goal is to build the program and create as much interest as possible in music at the school. Wade envisions the program could include band, jazz band, orchestra, choir and maybe a percussion circle and even a composing class. He even hopes to bring a pep band back to the Arnold Field during football games.
“I think there’s a lot of need and a lot of desire in the community,” for a music program, Wade said. “I’d like to take it to the next level and make that program thrive.”
“The music program has kind of dwindled,” McCabe said, “and we’re hoping Ben will reignite that.”
McCabe expressed his support of music education at the high school because, “Music is a critical component of education,” he said. “Research tells you students who are involved in music perform better in school than those students who don’t.”