Why Music Matters


Brittany’s Story

I am the current drum major and president of the Calaveras High School Band. My job is to lead the band during school functions and community events, plan meetings and fundraisers, and work with incoming members to make the transition into high school and their “adult” lives easier. In my family, I am a third generation percussionist, being introduced to a drum kit at the age of three. However, my journey with music really began in sixth grade. I started playing clarinet under the instruction of Mr. Wise. No offense to Mr. Wise or anyone that has played clarinet, but I really hated playing clarinet. I wanted to be a percussionist.

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Why Music Matters to Mr. H

fearlessleadersWhen I came to Calaveras High School in the spring of 1968, the music program barely existed. I saw the 13 unhappy band students sitting around playing with a Ouija board. I came to this sad situation with years of music experience, my shiny new teaching credential and lots of enthusiasm. In the 34 years that followed I was given a gift beyond any reasonable expectation. I was allowed to do what I loved, and was paid to do it.

Over the years I taught all types and styles of music to thousands of students. I loved watching them grow in confidence, musical ability, teamwork, leadership and responsibility.

One incident that rings most strongly in my mind is the one young man who joined choir as a freshman. He truly could only sing one note. Whatever the song was, he sang that one note, but he was willing to accept encouragement and by the end of that first year his improvement was surprising. He stayed in Beginning Choir a second year and by the end of that year, he was able to sing his part…. barely. He kept working and in his third year auditioned for the Concert Choir, made it in and was a positive contribution to the ensemble.

I think you know what happened next. Yes, in his senior year this boy who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket auditioned and won a place in Jazz ETC. Why? Because he was willing to believe in himself and keep on trying and trying, and his teacher believed in him and encouraged him.

This is why Music Matters to me. I have seen again and again the positive benefit and gift that music can be in the lives of children, and I will do whatever I can to ensure that all children in our school district will continue to have this opportunity.

All of us who have joined together in the Calaveras SAVE Campaign are committed to do whatever we can to ensure the continuance of Music Education in our school district. I invite you to join us. It might be that your contribution or participation will be the last bit that brings us to success. Now it is your turn.


Meet the Music Teachers: Angela Allured

Angela AlluredAngela Allured teaches band and choir at Toyon Middle School and concert and marching band at Calaveras High School. She has been studying flute and voice since age 10 and has extensive experience performing in band, orchestra, choir, and musical theater. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from University of the Pacific and a Master of Music in Conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University. Her professional affiliations include Sigma Alpha Iota (professional music sorority), NafME, and CMEA. She currently serves on the board of CMEA Bay Section as the assistant representative for the Valley Area.


Meet the Music Teachers: Nichole Markle

NicholeNichole teaches performing arts at Calaveras High School.  She is in her eighth year at Calaveras High School.  Her classes include Concert Choir, Advanced Choir, Drama I, Advanced Drama and Guitar I & II.  Nichole has also taught choir and drama at Toyon Middle School, directed the musicals Annie, The Sound of Music, and Dr. Dolittle and coached volleyball.  When not teaching she enjoys performing in musical theatre.  She was recently seen in The Sound of Music at Sierra Repertory Theatre.  She lives near Murphys with her husband, young son and dog.


Meet the Music Teachers: Robert Wise

robertRobert teaches band and ukelele to all elementary schools in Calaveras Unified School District.  He received his BM at CSU Fullerton and MS from National University. He has taught at Owens Valley School District, Westminster School District, Baldwin Park USD and now at Calaveras USD. He has won numerous awards at parades, fields show and band festivals. He has performed at the State Capitol for the Peace officer’s Memorial and as the official band for the City of Westminster. His awards include:  Westminster Teacher of the Year and Who’s Who in America’s Teachers.

Robert provided the following opportunities for students:

  • The Toyon Band went on an 8-day tour performing with the New Christie Minstrels
  • The CHS Band performed at a rodeo in the bottom of the Grand Canyon
  • The Toyon Middle School Choir performed with Randy Sparks at Pollardville
  • Disneyland Music Festivals for both TMS and CHS

Robert created and taught a Drum Line Class, caught a free Drummer’s Boot Camp class in the summer , provides weekly after school drums classes for elementary students, started a Ukulele program for 4th graders and wrote and produce a Winter Holiday Show for elementary students.


This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.