New Orchestra Director Making Music

Caleb G., Reporter

Darby Junior High’s newest teacher is Mrs. Caroline Gonzales. She teaches music as the Orchestra teacher and enjoys what she does.

This is her very first year teaching and she moved here from Oklahoma, where she just graduated from Oklahoma City University with a degree in music education. She recommends the school to anyone pursuing a music career.

“Yes, definitely! It has a very strong music program. It’s a small school, but it has one of the best music schools in the country. It has a lot of scholarships for people who want to go into music,” said Gonzales.

She has played the cello since sixth grade. It’s her favorite instrument and the one she’s played the most. In college it was her main instrument, and the main reasons she likes it is because it has a nice range.

“It’s not too high, not too low,” says Ms. Gonzales. She also likes it because it blends well with other instruments.

She’s just started a teaching career, but she has been planning it for some time.“I’d say around my sophomore or junior year of high school I decided I wanted to be a music teacher,” Ms. Gonzales said.

The best advice anyone has given her as a new teacher was to “get to know your students and focus a lot on classroom management at the beginning of the year.” She’s an assistant director at Northside High School, so she gets to help them as well.

Her first professional musician experience has been the Fort Smith Symphony, where she plays cello. Aside from that, she sings in church and does community musical theaters. However, she hasn’t had the chance to sing or do musicals yet as she’s new to Fort Smith. She lived in Oklahoma City for four years while going to college. Though she grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma she was born in Austin, Texas.

She’s a very nice person and if anyone is interested, the first Darby Orchestra concerts will be in November.  The beginners first concert is on November 6th at 6:30 p.m.  in the Darby band room. The advanced orchestra (8th and 9th grades) will hold a concert on November 27th in the gym at 7:00 p.m. That will be a joint concert with the Darby band.