Music students reflect on their time in high school

As the 2017-2018 school year comes to a close, seniors begin to reflect on their time at Bettendorf High School. Students in both instrumental and vocal music spend their lives at school, learning music and practicing. Bettendorf has a large variety of ensembles, that students can join and find their home at BHS, such as band, orchestra, and choir.

Erin Johnson has been involved in choir, orchestra, and show choir during her four years.

Participating in a variety of ensembles, Johnson loves making music.

She said “Music is a way to express emotions, meet people with common interests, and to have fun.”

After being in music for four years, Johnson is apprehensive about leaving the music program.

She said “I am unsure at this point whether or not I want to keep music in my college life because it has been a part of my high school experience so it may be hard to part with.”

Additionally, Johnson left some wisdom for incoming freshmen and current high school students.

She said “I would definitely recommend joining BHS music to other high school students because it is a great way to meet the most fun people.”

Johnson will be attending Iowa State University next fall. She has not yet decided her major, but she is interested in architecture, interior design, and political science, as well as others.

Donovan Klutho, a senior, has participated in Symphonic Band, String Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Surround Sound, and Audio Intensity.

Klutho enjoyed playing in Surround Sound’s band this year.

He said “I liked going on the risers in the closer.”

The music teacher who has influenced Klutho the most is Scott Bosco. Bosco stepped up to teach orchestra when Megan Cooney, the orchestra teacher, was on maternity leave. Klutho also was taught by Bosco, Surround Sound’s band director, during show choir.

As graduation approaches, seniors feel nostalgic about their years at BHS.

Klutho said “I feel sad that I am leaving, but I am glad that I will be doing better things.”

Klutho will be attending the University of Northern Iowa to study music performance and physics. He hopes to be a professional musician, playing tuba in an orchestra.

Another BHS music student, Cole Harksen has been heavily involved in fine arts. A current member of Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, and Surround Sound, Harksen loves to perform.

Chris Saito, Andrea Cooper, Mike Dynes, Megan Cooney, and Jordan McLaughlin, the music teachers at BHS, teach students about the power and beauty of music in their respective ensembles.

“Mrs. Cooper was my most influential teacher, because she exemplifies everything that I want to be. She has been an amazing mentor and person to come to with anything,” Harksen said.

The friendships made through the music program are great, but music also helps the soul.

Harksen said “I perform music because I love it and it gives me an escape from the cold world.”

Since students spend a large amount of their day in the music wing, many memories are made.

Harksen said “My favorite memory from the program was probably every time that we sang and EVERYONE felt it.”

Next fall, Harksen will be attending University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Continuing with his passion for performance, Harksen will pursue a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) in musical theatre.

Music has been a part of many seniors, and they look back on the memories they made through the Fine Arts Department. While some are choosing to continue pursuing music, others are leaving behind their instruments to pursue their true passions.


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