Fine & Performing Arts
IN perfect harmony
All 5th grade students learn to play a musical instrument as part of their music “specials” class. Beginning students may choose from: flute, clarinet, alto sax, trumpet, trombone, baritone horn. During second semester some students may be given additional opportunities to explore percussion instruments. Each 5th grade class meets one or two 45 minute periods per week in a rotating schedule. All 5th grade classes combine to perform in the annual Band Christmas and Spring Concerts. They may have additional performance opportunities throughout the school year, including a Grandparent’s Day Assembly.
6th Grade Band
6th grade band students are usually in their second year of instruction. However, beginners are welcome to join with permission from the band teacher. The entire band meets three 45 minute periods per week. This band participates in KWCS Christmas and Spring Band Concerts and marches in the Hazel Dell Parade with the 7th-8th grade band. In April they attend a band clinic at George Fox University, followed by a trip to Wings & Waves Waterpark. All 6th grade band students are invited to participate in the LCRMEA Solo/Ensemble Festival hosted by a local public school each May.
7th-8th Grade Band
As KWCS’s most advanced middle school concert band, these students meet one 45 minute and two 90 minute periods per week. Most members have at least two years experience in an instrumental music program. Beginners are welcome to join with permission from the band teacher. All members are required to participate in the annual LCRMEA Middle School Band Festival and Solo/Ensemble Festival. In addition to performances at KWCS Christmas and Spring Band Concerts, they present several concerts to honor veterans in our community, combine with the Vancouver Pops Orchestra in a yearly fundraising effort to support the Alzheimer’s Association, and march in the Hazel Dell Parade each May. Spring semester trips to competitions alternate between a Seattle Worldstrides Music Festival and Music in the Parks Contest at Silverwood (ID). These events typically include coaching “clinics” with directors of college band programs such as Pacific Lutheran and Whitworth Universities. At a Worldstrides event in April 2019, they earned the “Most Outstanding Band” award in a field that included 1A and 2A high schools. In June, 2022, this band earned a “superior” rating and won first place in the “Music in the Parks” competition, Silverwood, ID. On campus, these students periodically provide music for chapels, developing skills to participate as praise team musicians and worship leaders.
KWCS partners with Music World Stores to provide our band students with quality instruments through their rental program. Rental instruments are available in the band room the day before school starts each year. Students may also provide their own instruments. For further details please visit Music World at musicworldstores.com or contact email@example.com
Outgoing Band Director
Marge Swearer was born and raised in a small town north of New York City. She earned a BS from Concordia University, Bronxville, NY with a double major in Music Education and Elementary Education, as well as a Master’s Degree from Long Island University. Her husband, Robert, is a Lutheran minister. His seminary studies and pastoral duties provided Marge opportunities to teach students of all ages at private and public schools in several states around the country. Her teaching experience includes instruction in elementary (grades 1,2,4) and middle school (history/language arts) classrooms. She is the founding teacher/director of “The Life” preschool in Old Westbury, NY. At Hilton Head Christian Academy (Hilton Head Island, South Carolina), she was blessed to be the school’s first full time music teacher, establishing both choral and instrumental music programs. She was a staff member of the local youth orchestra and named by the Island’s Rotary Club as Teacher of the Year in 2005. Her position as choral director for grades 6-12 at Lincoln Lutheran (Lincoln, Nebraska) gave her opportunities to assist with their annual musical productions.
Mrs. Swearer has been blessed to be part of the King’s Way family since 2009. Currently, she enjoys teaching general music classes in grades K-4 and directing bands for grades 5-8. One of her greatest joys in teaching music is helping students develop their God-given musical talents as individuals and in ensemble experiences. She delights in preparing them to serve as leaders in worship settings and to achieve success in music competitions. As a pastor’s wife, Mrs. Swearer has been called to serve as a church musician (organist, choral director, praise team leader) in both traditional and contemporary settings. She and her husband are the proud parents of four grown children. Her daughters Amy and Emily are graduates of King’s Way Christian High School.