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New teacher strikes up the band
"POULSBO - When rain threatened their instruments, the participants in North Kitsap High School's band camp marched across the field anyway, fingers curled around imaginary flutes and arms encircling invisible tubas. And when they couldn't play their instruments - dark clouds still gathered overhead - they sang the parts instead, the drummer laughing as he shouted, Boom-BOOM! Boom-BOOM! It's that kind of imagination and dedication that Sara Weyrick stepped into. Weyrick is the new band teacher and director at North Kitsap High School, replacing John Werth. Weyrick has shown her share of dedication, commuting from and to Issaquah until the sale of her new home in Poulsbo closes. It's a four-hour trip every day, she said. It's worth it for Weyrick for many reasons. First was location. Weyrick has family that lives nearby, and was looking to move from her last job in the River View School District, which is near Carnation and Duval. I have a lot of family on the peninsula, Weyrick said during the band camp Thursday. I wasn't terribly familiar with the school or music history here, but wanted to move to the peninsula. She also wanted to focus on the high school level of music, after coming from several small districts where she taught all levels at once, from grade-schoolers just picking up instruments to older students who were relatively accomplished. When she interviewed, Weyrick liked who she found on the interview committee: students, parents, teachers and administrators. I liked that mix - that they included students and parents, Weyrick said. You can tell in a good interview if you want to work with those people. She also found a music program Well-supported by the community. One of Weyrick's first tasks was overseeing the band camp, where band members practice their routines to be played at football games. This year will be a swing theme, with swing music (including I've Got Rhythm) and dancing a part of the routine. That routine isn't easy to learn, Weyrick cautions. It's very time-consuming, she said of the complicated movements the students have to memorize. But, we hope it'll pay off. The program includes a chart of movement that demands the band members move to nine different positions during the routine. Those movements, instead of being simple steps forward and back, are sideways and curving - teacher and students jokingly call it The amoeba. One of the leaders of the band is senior Torie Brazitis. She is pleased with the way the two- week camp has gone, as well as the fact that more than ninety band members signed up for it. We start off with basics: marching forward, stopping, posture, Brazitis said. She said the resulting program will be worth the complicated movements. It's going to be good, she said. We've got a lot of jazz band people, and they're rising to the occasion. Brazitis' fellow drum major, Melissa Forbes, shares her optimism. It's been going great. It's well-organized, and people are really enthusiastic this year, she said. Forbes likes her bandmates, saying, They're really great people. Band camp is just one of Weyrick's tasks this year. She will teach several classes, including jazz class and wind ensemble, and the band will go to Husky band camp in Seattle Sept. 9. She also looks forward to becoming a resident of North Kitsap. I really like this community. I hope it becomes my new home town, she said. "