Teachers left huge impression

By Andrew Gutierrez: Guest Columnist

This is part of a series in which local columnists share their love for music in celebration of “Music in Our Schools Week” at Clovis Municipal Schools.

Music to me has always been a creative outlet by which I could just express myself, whether it was a family road trip and singing along with my sisters to whatever happened to be playing at the time or participating in music in school.

When I moved to Clovis, one of the musical influences that showed me that music wasn’t just a break from schoolwork was Bambi Hays, my elementary music teacher from Sandia.

Along with Hays, I had the opportunity to be taught by three additional great music teachers.
Virginia Morrison was my choir teacher at Gattis Junior High School. Jim Barnard was my band director — also at Gattis Junior High school. Both teachers instilled a value of music that I still carry with me to this day.

While attending Clovis High School, Wayne Anderson was my choir teacher.

It was the combination of values from all four teachers that helped me strive to be a better musician, and through the hard work that I put forth, I was fortunate to make the all-state mixed chorus three of the four years I auditioned for it.

During high school and shortly afterward, I competed in talent shows so I could stay involved in music. One competition was the Jimmy Dean Country Showdown. There I had the chance to work with Johnny Mulhair. Although at the time I didn’t realize just how big a deal it was, now I realize even though it was just a one-song competition, it is something I remember to this day.

So I guess in summary, music means a lot to me, and I honestly couldn’t see working for the music program for the Clovis Schools if I didn’t carry a deep appreciation for music in my heart. It’s because of this appreciation that I am working on my degree in music education.
Hopefully, I can hopefully be an inspiration like the four teachers I mentioned who have inspired me.

Andrew Gutierrez is a music assistant at Clovis Municipal Schools.