“I am just enjoying everything this year and trying to make the most of it,” said Lowry High School music program director Paul Criddle. Criddle is feeling pretty nostalgic this year, while he works with his last groups of students. He has announced his upcoming retirement at the end of this school year.
Criddle has been at the helm of the high school’s band and choir programs for decades. Many hundreds of students have grown in their enjoyment and skill with music under Criddle’s leadership.
The Swing Choir, Honor Choir and LHS Band have all recently completed their first fall performances of the school year.
LHS Swing Choir members put on their pulled pork dinner concert the first week in November in the high school gymnasium. Parents, family members, friends and music program supporters all helped serve a delicious dinner to those who attended. The dinner concert is a fundraiser that helps pay for the group’s tour in the spring and other music program costs.
Earlier in the month, choir students who qualified for Honor Choir, held in Elko, had the opportunity to work with a talented guest conductor, Dr. Michael Huff, who is currently Director of Choral Activities and head of the piano area at Snow College. Huff has been involved in many other critically acclaimed music programs all over the state of Utah and has produced major festival events in Nashville, Chicago, Washington DC, Orange County, and San Francisco.
Criddle said this is the third time that Conductor Michael Huff has worked with the students at Honor Choir.
“He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position and has been wonderful at teaching the students vocal techniques and musical artistry,” Criddle said. “It reinforces everything that I have been trying to teach them during this first quarter of school.”
Criddle added that the choir students really benefit from singing with students from all over northern Nevada in a large choir. “It’s good for them to see students from other schools enthusiastically participate in such an event,” Criddle said.
“Before the Honor Choir performs, each individual school has the opportunity to perform a piece by themselves,” Criddle explained. “We are at a slight disadvantage, because it’s hard to bring students over who didn’t qualify for honor choir, just to sing one song. The Elko County schools don’t have as far to travel, so it’s pretty easy for them to do it. We just have the students who actually made the honor choir sing and it has worked out.”
The first instrumental concert of the school year brought together 50 LHS band students, who combined their talents and hard work to put on an enjoyable performance Nov. 1.
“I thought it was a very good first concert,” Criddle said. “The band has a good full sound and more lower brass than I’ve had for a while.”
Criddle said he believes that by the end of the year, this high school band may turn out to be one of the better bands he’s conducted during his career. “I am really enjoying working with them,” he commented. “They seem willing to put in the work to become better on their instruments.”
Lowry High School’s music groups will all be together to perform a Christmas concert for the community on December 15 in the LHS gymnasium.