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A musical addition to AHS

Photo courtesy of Angela Ammerman

Photo courtesy of Angela Ammerman

Abby Barnes, Arts Editor

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AHS has hired another passionate musical director this school year. New orchestra director Angela Ammerman previously taught at Robinson SS, is on the Board of Directors for the University of Mary Washington Orchestra and conducts the Rappahannock Youth Symphony. She majored in music education at the College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio and received her master’s degree in music at Boston University.

She uses laughter as her secret weapon in conducting. “I try to find humor in daily life and will find myself cracking up in class from time to time,” Ammerman said. “Laugh at yourself!  Life isn’t as serious as you think!”

At Ammerman’s high school, she was already known for her musical passion. “I was voted ‘best musician’ as a part of our senior superlatives,” Ammerman said.

Ammerman thinks string players should rarely have to play softly. Walking past her classroom during rehearsal, students can hear her telling her orchestra to play louder.

Orchestra students think this coming year will be better than the last.

“The teacher actually has a lot more ideas this year, and she’s trying her best to actually make it happen. Last year, we barely did any fundraising,” junior Claudette Pagulayan said.

Ammerman will try to make more opportunities for the community to hear the orchestra play. She plans to have more events including fundraisers.

Her energy also impresses students. “I think that she genuinely wants all the orchestras to sound as good as they can,” senior Oumaima Kaabi said. “I’m excited to see a more serious change in everyone’s attitude.”

Stephanie Lewis, the old orchestra teacher, went to direct Hayfield Secondary School’s orchestra after last year. Her decision undoubtedly brought a gift to AHS’ orchestra community.

Ammerman chose AHS for its promise and talent. “Annandale has a growing orchestra program with immense potential and I could not resist the possibilities here!” Ammerman said.

Her many goals for the orchestra include channeling each student’s ‘inner musician’. She wants them to find the same passion for music as she did. She also wants to get their name out more.

“I would love to see the Annandale Orchestra program outside in the community more often; [for example], in nursing homes, hospitals, community events,” Ammerman said.

1 Comment

One Response to “A musical addition to AHS”

  1. CJ Sidener on September 18th, 2012 1:50 pm

    I am so excited about this Orchestra Director! I am an Orchestra allumni of the Annandale High School Ochestras. I play in two Orchestras in the community, NOVA – Annandale Symphony Orchestra, and Annandale Strings. I am excited that the Orchestra Director wants her students to play loud, beacuse I for one, don’t like dynamics and love to play loud myself.

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A musical addition to AHS