Teacher Talk by Kim Jones
Elsberry High School Band members are (left to right) Marissa Sickmeier, Alex Brandt, Sarah Daly, Robert Chambers, Maggie Spratt, Nick Daly, Jonathan Jansen, Zac Barber, Josie Shanahan, Dillon Zumwalt, Becca Jansen, Amanda Talbot, Madison Cleveland, Kayla King, AnneMarie Bufford, Anne Heintzelman, Arianna Shaffer, Kristy Burkemper, Trey Robinson, Tracey Beck and Naomi Gladney.
Elsberry Schools is very fortunate to have a very dedicated teacher in Tom Speers. The music department has grown to what it is today because of his time and commitment to the students and program at EHS. He is finishing up his fifth year as the music director. This year Mr. Speers teaches HS Band, music appreciation, seventh grade band, choir, eighth grade band and sixth grade band. If you ask him he will tell you he needs double the hours in the day to teach the classes he wants and teach them correctly, but that comes from a true professional in the field of education.
Last week the high school band participated in the State Large Group Band Festival in O’Fallon. This is one of the biggest events that the band participates in BUT due to conflict they have been unable to participate in this festival for the last four years. The band received the highest honor on that day, a superior I rating. They came prepared with two music selections and were judged on their musicianship, technique, and overall performance. After the prepared performance they had to sight read as part of their overall score.
When asked about the honor, Mr. Speers stated, “It was a goal of mine as an educator to earn an I rating at state contest, I am excited that I got to accomplish this goal in Elsberry!” The Elsberry music program has slowly been growing over the last few years reaching a total of 136 students participating in band 6-12. Mr. Speers closed with saying, “I am excited to see what the future holds, hopefully we have started a new streak of I ratings at the state music festival.”