The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Williston Welcomes New Music Teacher

Mark+Wurtzel
Mark Wurtzel

Mark Wurtzel

Mark Wurtzel

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The Music Department hopes to strike a lasting chord on the Williston campus while changing and growing in its own respect.

This year, the Music Department is excited to have Mark Wurtzel, a new faculty member, on its team. He plans to drum up a music production club, a jazz band, and chamber orchestra.

Wurtzel, having had experience in music technology prior to Williston, is excited about his new club.

“I am most excited to work with the very talented students at Williston and to make music in a variety of both traditional and non-traditional ways,” he said.

Mr. Wurtzel also has teaching experience, coming to Williston after teaching at Pershing Middle School in Houston, Texas.

Wurtzel comes as the Music Department undergoes many changes, having been through a few years of changing and remodeling, especially in regards to the faculty and course offerings.

Now in his second year, choir instructor Steven Berlanga joined the Williston community in 2016, filling the position of Joshua Harper, who left Williston to pursue an advanced degree in conducting.

Mario Flores, the former upper school and middle school band director, joined Berlanga in his first year at Williston, filling long-time faculty member Ben Demerath’s spot.

This year, Berlanga will serve as choir instructor, while Wurtzel will lead the Jazz Band, Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and newly added Music Production club.

In terms of class changes, Williston’s Wind Ensemble, which used to be run by Demerath, was closed in 2016 because of low enrollment.

Despite this, many music classes were turned into clubs that met after school. Many students interested in the music groups were pleased because they could fit it into their schedule without it interfering with their course load.

“I think that’s great because the music program needs to be a bigger part of campus,” said senior Tori Zingarelli.

She added, “I think that more students should join the program because the new teachers have been a great addition to campus and I’m also excited to work with Mr. Wurtzel.”

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The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America
Williston Welcomes New Music Teacher