Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 26, 2012

New band teacher tuning up at Keys

KEYS — Students at Keys Public Schools will soon include the development of their musical talents and abilities on their homework to-do lists.

The school district has been without a band program, and it hired Doyle Burress in November to begin establishing its music curriculum.

Keys Superintendent Billie Jordan said Burress will begin his duty as band teacher in January, with the goal of having a full program ready by the 2013-2014 school year.

“He’s going to be working with the students after school starting next semester,” Jordan said recently. “We’re financing that through a grant I got through the Boys & Girls Club, and we’re using some federal after-school money. We’re not using any general fund money for that. The [Boys & Girls Club] grant will provide some band instruments. I’m applying for a grant to get more. We’ll see how that goes.”

Burress, an adjunct professor at Tulsa Community College, said students are encouraged to “obtain their own instruments” when possible. But he’s also asked community members to donate instruments to help with the formation of the program.

He’s urging everyone to exercise patience when forming expectations.

“As I told Ms. Jordan, I’m not a real big ego person, but my ego is just big enough to be successful. I really want this to be a success, and everybody seems to be going at it with the right frame of mind,” Burress said. “The student body and community seem to want it to be a success. As long as people are patient –  because it can’t happen overnight. It may take two to three years. Eventually, yes, we want a full-fledged program, but the first thing we have to do is learn how to play an instrument and play them well.”

Burress was serving as the assistant band director in Coweta in 2010 when he stepped down to pursue a career in school administration. He accepted a position as assistant principal at Checotah High School for one year before returning to Coweta to serve as principal.

Burress said students at Keys will be grouped by age to help them develop the appropriate-level class for their talent level and learning ability.

“One of the things parents are going to say is, ‘My child doesn’t know anything about music or read music.’ The students who can’t read music at all will progress as fast as those who may read a little music,” he said. “The only prerequisite needed to be in the program is the determination to learn and willingness to do a little bit of work.”

Some of the instruments students will learn how to play include the trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, and possibly the saxophone.

“We’ll have the fifth and sixth grades in a class, the seventh and eighth grades in a class, and it’ll be ninth-graders and up in a class. I’m more concerned about dividing the students by age, because your older students will learn so much faster and they’ll be able to progress so much faster,” Burress said. “It’s like in sports and training a kid to run or block or shoot; with a younger student, you need to show them the concept several times. It also helps to keep everybody’s interest.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ths-jazz-2.jpg THS jazz band gets up early to hone performance skills

    It means getting up an hour earlier, and it doesn’t count as a class, but the jazz band at Tahlequah High School enjoys the dedication of a group of enthusiastic students.
    The THS Jazz Band practices every day at 7 a.m., an hour before the start of classes. It numbers 17, and is led by Director Orien Landis.
    “They have to do this before school and they get no class credit, but we have a full band,” Landis said. “They are really excited about this.”

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Easter-basket-kid.jpg Easter traditions date back centuries

    Some Christians may lament a partial shift of focus, but a Christian holy day - perhaps the most holy of all – is this Sunday, and it will be marked with celebrations all around the world.
    The Christian holiday of Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. For centuries, the observant have fasted, reflected or done penance in the weeks leading to the holiday. But today, many also associate the holiday with the Easter bunny, candy, and kites. In 2013, Americans spent $2.1 billion on Easter candy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Some oppose minimum wage hike; others decry strong-arming by state

    President Barack Obama and the U.S. Senate recently announced a push to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour, to $10.10. On the heels of the announcement, an initiative petition was introduced in Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10. If it gained 80,000 signatures, it would be put to a vote of the people.
    This legislative session, a bill passed prohibiting municipalities from setting a minimum was or vacation and sick-day requirements. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law earlier this week.

    April 18, 2014

  • Phone scam takes $500 from couple

    Authorities are warning Cherokee County residents to watch for a costly phone scam that recently targeted a local couple and ended in their loss of $500.
    According to sheriff’s deputies, a couple contacted authorities after losing $500 to the scam. The couple received a phone call from a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Green.” He told the couple they had won $1.5 million through Publisher’s Clearing House, but to collect the money, the couple would have to purchase a $500 money card to cover various fees.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missing local teen found dead

    The body of a missing 17-year-old boy was found in southern Cherokee County on Thursday, sheriff’s investigators said.
    Brikk Pritchett was reported missing earlier this month after disappearing on March 30, a day before his 17th birthday.

    April 18, 2014

  • ts honor flight 1.tif Flight of honor

    World War II veteran Charles Harra flew missions for the Army Air Corps, and if you ask him which flight was his most memorable, he’ll say it was his 35th mission.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man charged after leading authorities on wild chase

    Prosecutors have formally charged a man who allegedly led authorities on a wild high-speed pursuit across Cherokee County in late March.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sex offender bonds out after failing to register

    A Cherokee County man is out on bond after being arrested last week for failing to register as a sex offender.

    April 17, 2014

  • jn radiator shop.jpg ‘Greenbelt’ progressing

    Crews this week began to demolish an abandoned radiator shop at the corner of South Street and Guinn Avenue.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts slut walk.tif SlutWalk shines spotlight on crime

    “Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the rape; slut, slut, ho, ho, yes means yes and no means no!”
    This was the battle cry across the campus of Northeastern State University, as the student branch of the American Association of University Women held its third annual SlutWalk Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Stocks