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Triton Voice

The Student News Site of Triton High School

Triton Voice

The Student News Site of Triton High School

Triton Voice

Music Program May B-Flat Now, but A-Major Change is Coming

Mr. Kemp has joined the Triton Regional High school arts department. (Tirone Photo)
Carl Tirone
Mr. Kemp has joined the Triton Regional High school arts department. (Tirone Photo)

Big changes are coming to the Triton Arts Department. Retired music director, Susan Densmore left big shoes to fill, but Mr. Craig Kemp plans to fill them and more.

The new music teacher sat down for an interview and explained some of the changes he plans to make to the Triton Arts Department and how it will function going forward.

“The long-term plan is to grow the program and open up more veins where we can enjoy music… I have some ideas,” Mr. Kemp said. 

Recently, the music programs at Triton have been getting cut. For example, the marching band and winter percussion programs were both shut down two years ago due to low enrollments. Not only that, but the stage band has also been dwindling in numbers. The new music director plans to turn these hardships around. Seeing them as a challenge, he hopes to get the department back on its feet and as full as ever with people.

In the short term, Mr. Kemp hopes to expand the existing program and get Triton music students more involved with community events. 

“At the end of the year, we’ll be singing in a music competition, Music in the Parks. We’ll be singing and the bands will be playing,” Mr. Kemp explained. While describing future plans, Mr. Kemp explained his past and how it helps his current position at Triton. Before working at Triton, Mr. Kemp served in the U.S. Army. 

“I was in the army as an infantry, noncommissioned officer. I served overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom and again in Operation Enduring Freedom,” Mr. Kemp said. After the army, Mr. Kemp didn’t immediately go to teach music. “When I got out of the army, I didn’t go straight back to school.” He wanted to see what the workforce offered. 

After his service in the armed forces, he had a brief job at a medical technologies company. 

“I worked for a medical devices company for a few years and I was a technical trainer in that company,” Mr. Kemp said. “ I was training technical aspects of blood diagnostic equipment to members of the company and to outside customers,” he continued. “That training, and being within that training department actually helped me become a better teacher.” After this he went back to school, going back to study music and improve his teaching skills. 

Mr. Kemp began teaching in Natick. “I was primarily in middle school teaching choral music and teaching some music electives like film scoring.” He began teaching at the middle school level but desired to move up as he couldn’t “share my depth of knowledge and experience in the same way that I could with older secondary level students,” As Mr. Kemp put it. “That’s really what caused me to start looking for a high school position. Then I found Triton’s position opened up and when I read the job description I didn’t have to choose between if I wanted to teach Band or if I wanted to teach Chorus or Jazz Band, where a lot of schools make you specialize,”  Kemp remarked. 

“I like all music, and I liked the fact that this position allowed me to teach all different types of music,” he said. “That is really what brought me to apply to Triton and then it was the students, when I came in for my interviews, that made me want to take the position.” Mr Kemp finished.

Since coming in, Triton’s music program has seen some immediate changes. For starters, the music department recently got a $15,000 donation. This money has been put towards the band programs in the elementary schools, allowing for students to not have to pay for an instrument. This allows for renewed interest in the program that’ll expand as these kids enter middle and high school. This alone grew the music program in the elementary schools from 62 4th graders to 103. While this change is one that’ll see benefits in the long term, there’s also some that current students here at triton will see. for one, there was the previously mentioned Music in the Parks, where tritons bands and chorus will perform. Mr. Kemp also talked about how he wants to spread resources across all parts of the music program, to make sure students in them have the resources they need.

“I would want the students, who have gone through
my classes to be able to say that they knew that they
were seen, as individuals. That is 100 percent my goal,”
Kemp said. “Because at the end of the day, not everyone
wants to be a musician… And that’s fine.”

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