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IMG_9942Alexis Kalugin

FC Alumni, Andrew Guthrie, returned to the campus to help build up the music department.

Guthrie shares passion, talent with students

Andrew Guthrie returned to teach at FCS after graduating with the class of 2015. With the Fresno Christian music department in flux after the departure of Michael Ogdon, the program is still looking to rebuild. With this position opening up, Guthrie took up the challenge to teach elementary music at FCS, to prepare students for the high school music program.

With his new staff position, Guthrie hopes to better the music program that he once participated in. He wants to prepare his class for the competitions that the FCS music program competes in every other year. Guthrie hopes to prepare his class to attend heritage festival during their high school years.

“I came back to FCS to teach elementary band because I wanted to make an impact on the music department,” Guthrie said. “The more kids we have in beginning band, the bigger and better our high school groups will be. To teach here the same year I graduated is strange but awesome. These students are still some of my best friends, and I enjoy getting to be a part of this school still after 12 years of being a student.”

Heritage Festival, the foremost of Fresno Christian’s musical competitions assess a schools vocal and instrumental performance. The adjudicators first listen then assess the initial performance then after the panel congregate one judge instructs the band on the major flaws they saw within the band from a technique and and the overall composure of the preforming group. Among the competition is a trip to a major theme park for the awards ceremony.

Andrew is the elementary band assistant, he helps teach sectionals, helps direct the percussion section and assists students on proper playing techniques. I am so glad Andrew returned to FCS to help shape the next generation of musicians. The students love having him and he is a great asset to our music program. He is responsible, hardworking, he helps keep the students engaged and motivated. — Leslie Banister

Guthrie hopes to kindle a passion in his students to take on the challenge of musical arts into the FCS high school music program with Susan Ainley, the senior most music teacher at FCS who offered her insight on Guthrie’s return saying.

“Andrew is currently helping Mrs. Bannister in the band department, but he still offers his help to me when I need it,” Ainley said. “For our fall concert, he played his saxophone and conga drums to accompany the choir. He will often come in and sing with the men to offer support. Because he has a very fine tenor voice I asked him to be a part of the barber shop quartet in Music Man, I also asked him to sing several solos with the choir when we went to Festival.”

Ainley believes that Guthrie sets an example for the FC community with his musical capabilities and his willingness to help the FC community.

“He is a very talented musician, winning an award at the Disney Land competition and I expect him to do very well in whatever occupation he chooses,” Ainley said. “I am always glad to see alumni come back to FC to contribute. This shows the value of the FC experience, because even when students leave for other pursuits they recognize the unique nature of our small school environment.”

Fresno Christian truly offers a genuine music experience with students participating in choir outside of class and bonding with other students in drama productions. Guthrie, Ainley and Banister all bring their all to provide students the best musical experience, along with preparing students for careers ahead. As Guthrie assists Leslie Banister in her elementary band she is able to rely on him as he participated in the FCS jazz band playing a key role in the band.

IMG_9979Kylie Bell

Fellow teachers label Guthrie a valuable helper in the program, due to his genuine passion for his work.

“Andrew is the elementary band assistant, he helps teach sectionals, helps direct the percussion section and assists students on proper playing techniques,” Banister said. “I am so glad Andrew returned to FCS to help shape the next generation of musicians. The students love having him and he is a great asset to our music program. He is responsible, hardworking, he helps keep the students engaged and motivated.”

Bannister believes that Guthrie will continue to nurture and cultivate the music program with his inherent abilities as a musician.

“Andrew continues to help us grow our music program, with over 30 students in Elementary band, we are excited to see the growth and excitement building around our instrumental music program,” Bannister said. “Andrew’s musical talent and excitement allowed him to play a vital role in our jazz band always ready on the saxophone or drums.”

Guthrie a truly talented person, who returns to Fresno Christian to make a difference in the music department he once played a vital role in.

This writer can be reached via twitter: @Huskyy223 and via email: Stephen Walters.

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