Music is the mission for new choral director

Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 6, 2013

If Wayne Duckworth could have a personal theme song, it probably would be “I Believe in Music.”

Duckworth does believe in music and he believes that it his mission in life to share the love of and appreciation for music with others. And, he is excited to have that opportunity as the choral director at Pike County High School.

Duckworth said that he is impressed with everything about PCHS from the facility to the faculty and the student body.

Wayne Duckworth hopes to inspire PCHS students with music.

Wayne Duckworth hopes to inspire PCHS students with music.

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“I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the Pike County School System and the community,” he said.

Duckworth comes to PCHS from northwest Alabama where he was tenured. But, he was looking for new opportunities so he put out a few feelers and Willie Wright, PCHS principal, contacted him. The rest is current “history.”

As the director of choral music, Duckworth said he will put emphasis on vocal technique and sight-reading, which are “majorly important.”

“I don’t want the students to just sing,” he said. “I want them to be able to read the music and know the proper vocal techniques. Students must be able to read music and know vocal techniques in order to sing well and if they hope to continue music in college or receive a music scholarship.”

Duckworth said the music that his choral students will sing will be from all major time periods.

“We’ll do a cappella music, sacred songs, patriotic music, popular music, Broadway show tunes and folk music,” he said. “I’ve been surprised that so many young people don’t know our patriotic songs and they should. Right now, we are learning the words to ‘Star Spangled Banner.’ Most students recognize the music but they don’t know all the words.”

Duckworth said it is important that students know their school’s alma mater – “all four verses of it.”

He said American folk music will also make its way into his classroom.

“American folk music is America’s addition to the history of music, so it’s important that we learn about it and sing it,” he said.

Duckworth said he will welcome opportunities for his choral groups to sing at public events. But right now, he is concentrating on his students learning to read music and learning the vocal techniques what will enable them to, not just sing, but to sing well.

Duckworth is originally from Birmingham. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Montevallo and his graduate work was done at the University of Alabama.

He and his wife have baby boy, three weeks old.