Be Frank growing in Bayfield, Durango school districts

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 11:54 AM
Photo courtesy Be Frank

The Bayfield High School orchestra performing in 2017.

The Be Frank Foundation has grown to provide orchestra programs to 425 students in Bayfield and Durango, members of the non-profit's board told members of the Bayfield School Board on Tuesday.

"We're moving and shaking in the orchestra department, and we look forward to your continued support," said Lech Usinowicz, the group's executive director.

Elementary school students take orchestra and drum classes before or after school, while middle school and high school orchestra is offered in classes in school taught by Usinowicz. About 90 students are in the Bayfield orchestra and percussion programs, and 150 are in the middle and high school programs.

The growth in orchestra hasn't come at the expense of band programs, Usinwicz added, noting that orchestra students are encouraged to try band. A few students can study in both programs, but most pick one or the other.

The orchestras recently participated in a Colorado High School Activities Association music festival in Cortez, receiving top "one" ratings for all of the groups, including a six-minute sight-reading competition.

Brian Caselles, the president of the Be Frank board, also thanked the board for allowing the partnership to continue between the non-profit group and the school district.