Thankful for Mrs. Wood

James Ricks, Backpage Editor

The national anthem at the start of each assembly lasts about a minute. It’s a great opportunity to remember our nation’s heritage, and listen to the choir showcase its talent—but it’s over in a minute. It’s hard to tell in that minute just how much work goes into the piece: there are the rehearsals that happen in and out of class, and it’s not easy to stand up and sing in front of the whole student body.

That said, it’s nothing compared to the care that the choir director, Mrs. Wood, puts into the show.

I could go on to talk about how good the choir is, about the awards they’ve won, the people that go to national choirs etc., and tie it all back to how dedicated Mrs. Wood is, but there’s no need. Her reputation precedes her. I think what the student body doesn’t see—what I didn’t realize until I joined the choir this last year—is that she’s less a director, and more a mentor. “Director” is so austere and standoffish. Mrs. Wood is neither.

She certainly does direct the choir, but she makes time for the individuals. There are a lot of kids in the choir, more than 50, and yet Mrs. Wood somehow finds the time and energy to make sure everyone is included. When someone doesn’t get a part, when the bass section can’t seem to pull itself together, Mrs. Wood takes care to bring everyone up to speed.

And it’s because she genuinely loves her students. She takes time to connect with the students in ways that I think are taken for granted. We’re reminded often that our composure as a choir is just as important as the music we sing. She laughs with the choir, too. The other week some of the students even taught her how to “Hit the Whip.”

It’s easy to forget about our music department. It’s tucked away in the far corner of the school, away from English, Math and Social Studies classrooms, but this Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for Mrs. Wood, who definitely makes the obscure wing worth a visit.