from The Times Record
Strike up the band for Matt Fogg, the former Morse High School choral director, for becoming the first recipient of the Yamaha company’s Artists in Education endorsement. The Jazz Times reported last week that Fogg, 28 and now a teacher at the Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland, will help launch the program devoted to teaching and creating music.
Based on his achievements at Morse after assuming the baton for the choral program there in 2001, Fogg brings a perfect mix of skills to the new initiative.
The creativity it takes to perform as a jazz pianist, which Fogg does when he’s not teaching, fortifies the leadership, diversity and dedication that remain prerequisites for teaching music in schools. “I want to change people’s mind about what it means to be a high school musician,” Fogg told The Times Record in a 2003 interview. It’s about stretching the ears of the students, which will stretch the ears of the audiences.”
The skills required to play an instrument or sing complex chorale arrangements translate well to other academic disciplines. Yet band and chorus don’t merit much respect from a state educational hierarchy that seems intent on defining Essential Programs and Services in the narrowest possible way.
Perhaps Fogg’s national recognition will tune up that dissonant note.