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20 September 2017
Ayanna Diaz (12), Mr. Marty Blane, Mr. Kelly Murphy, and Phillip Byas (11) prepare to play their guitars at the beginning of a meeting.

Guitar Club is Back With a Bang

When considering the whole gamut of extracurriculars offered at Andrean, guitar club sticks out for a variety of reasons. After beginning in 2013 and taking a hiatus last year, guitar club has returned to educate students of widely differing skill levels in guitar. It is also a relatively small club, with just seven students and three moderators; this creates a group learning environment that is still small enough for instructors to take time to help individual musicians. Guitar club is both unique and welcoming in its own way because it offers an opportunity to gain a plethora of musical skills and to become close to others while learning.

The three moderators of guitar club are Mr. Marty Blane, Mr. Kelly Murphy, and Mr. John Price. Blane ran the club on his own up until this year, and his goals for the students go beyond simply learning how to play the guitar. “[I want to] create some kind of comradery in an environment where people will bond together on the guitar,” Blane said. He also recognizes that many students do not have much time to play the guitar at home, and he hopes that offering guitar club at school will help them find the time to play.

Senior Ayanna Diaz was in guitar club two years ago and has returned this year with the re-institution of the club.

Senior Ayanna Diaz was in guitar club two years ago and has returned this year with the re-institution of the club.

As a natural educator, one of Blane’s favorite parts about moderating guitar club is being able to teach students at many different skill levels. Seeing each student improve over time is particularly rewarding. He also hopes that as that as the year progress, he will begin to see students going to each other for help and advice as opposed to relying on the moderators of guitar club.

One of the best things about guitar club is that it provides a very friendly and nonjudgmental place to try something new. Even those who do not own a guitar or have never played before are encouraged to look into joining the club. “I think that the environment we’ve established so far is not intimidating in any way,” Blane said. “It’s a welcoming environment as of right now, and I don’t think anything negative can come from it, from trying it.”

Daniel Lytton (11) tried out guitar club as a freshman and has stuck with it ever since. Despite his time-consuming obligations to theater, Lytton said that the club takes a high priority in his life. This year, he wants to gain even more experience playing the guitar as well as a small leadership role to help less experienced guitar players.

For Lytton, playing the guitar is an essential part of his life. Being able to play with friends and role models only makes him enjoy the experience more. “[Guitar club] is something that you’ll never get the same experience from, because the guitar is such an elegant instrument, an elegant sound, that you really can’t get that from anywhere else,” Lytton said. “Music is something that will speak to you in different ways that nobody ever has.”

Miranda Price (10) is another member of guitar club who makes music an important part of her life. Even though this is her first year in guitar club, she plays several other instruments and has had a guitar sitting around at her house just waiting to be played. “Learning to play an instrument is a good skill that can come in handy for years to come,” Price said. “It’s just something that people think is a good thing to know… and later on you can have years of enjoyment from it.”

Members and moderators of guitar club hope to perform for more events this year than they have in the past. This year, members of the club have already performed for the International Rosary.

Meetings are after school every week on Tuesday for approximately one hour. Students who are interested in joining guitar club can contact Mr. Blane in room 112 or email him at mblane@andreanhs.com. The important thing to remember when considering guitar club is to have an open mind, and, in Blane’s words, “just don’t be afraid if you don’t know how to play.”

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