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Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Nonnewaug High School's Chief News Source

NHS Chief Advocate

Music Program is Family at Nonnewaug

The Nonnewaug orchestra performs during a concert April 27. (Courtesy of Jamie Odell)

WOODBURY – The music program is one of the many hidden gems at Nonnewaug. Students enter the music program with a passion for music and come out with new skills and a variety of different talents.  

The music program does a lot for the school community — including performances at plays, concerts, games, graduation, and other events — but also for the Woodbury and Bethlehem communities. The music program participates in the local Christmas tree lightings, Memorial Day parades, and other local functions.

The music program is highly recommended by the music teachers as well as the kids involved. Two of the teachers leading the program are Jamie Odell and Todd Gorski. 

Odell is Nonnewaug’s interim director of fine arts as well as the orchestra director for Nonnewaug and Woodbury Middle School. She is very passionate about her job and the kids that go through her program. 

“The enthusiasm that I feel from the Drama [Club] and the orchestra and the chorus has grown tremendously, and that energy makes me so happy to come to work every day,” Odell says.

Odell also compares the music program to more of a family than a mere class.

“I grew up in a much bigger town, and the thought of joining a high school band or a high school orchestra or chorus was intimidating because I might have compared myself to other students,” Odell says. “What we have is a family of musicians who rely on one another. We need everybody, and because we need everybody it is a very inclusive environment.”

Students feel the same sense of pride.

“My favorite part of the music program is building a strong connection with my classmates and finding love and joy for music,” says Lana Zupnick, a sophomore at Nonnewaug who has been playing the flute since fourth grade. “I love going to class every day to play these nice, fun, and beautiful pieces.”

Senior Devon Zapatka, who is a saxophone player in Nonnewaug’s orchestra, shares similar opinions.  

“Nonnewaug’s music program in a closely knit community of students with one purpose of playing together in unity,” Zapatka says. “The respect players in the program have for each other is top-notch no matter what skill level a player may be because what it comes down to is being on one team.”

About the Contributor
Morgan Willis '27
Morgan Willis '27, Reporter
Morgan Willis is a freshman at Nonnewaug and a first-year reporter for the NHS Chief Advocate. She is a part of Freshman Class Council and the National Art Honor Society. She loves to get involved with lots of aspects of the school. She loves to write about pop culture, sports, and the school community.
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