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How sweet the sound, Nolan shines Grace on Mount Michael Music


Old, tattered, rundown, and miniscule are some words to describe the music program after the 2020 lockdown. It seems as if the Knights forgot about rhythm over the unexpected break. For the next two school years, music programs in the school suffered. Just as a phoenix rises from its ashes, the Mount’s music endeavors were reborn. 

Ms. Emily Nolan was knighted at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.  With her previous music experience and expertise at OPS (Omaha Public Schools) for seven years, Nolan wants to provide oxygen for the spirit flame found in all musical students at The Mount. While the music ensembles look up to speed now, it was no easy task to lift up the program primarily because of undeveloped skill. 

Ms. Nolan added, “When I arrived at Mount Michael, I saw a lot of potential. I saw students who were interested in working to make the music program more involved and more well-rounded.”

 Along with the uniting of students, some programs were low in student numbers. To help the cause, student figures Obadiah Laa ‘24, Gower Gillespie ‘24, Will Bruggeman ‘24, Nick Halpin ‘24, and Connor McLain ‘24 all joined the choir. Without previous experience, the singers were taught how to sing comfortably together with their voices. For high school boys, singing is usually the most unpopular activity to take part in, but Ms. Nolan has influenced a new point of view.

“She made me enjoy singing,” said Nick Halpin ‘24.

In addition to her saving grace brought upon the school choir, the band program has been in the process of restoration. With a routine of whole ensemble practices and individual lessons, students extend their knowledge on how to wield their instruments. Nolan strives to create a safe, friendly, and creative environment in every class she teaches. 

Josh Palmer ‘24 added that Nolan “Made music a lot more engaging and more challenging.”

Because most students join the band program with prior experience, the main focus of the ensemble is getting everyone in tune. Many students arrive with a vast range of playing levels. Lifting up students to their potential, Nolan pushed the group to a couple of competitions in the last two years. She looks to improve on the outstanding awards that the band won last year.

“This year, I hope to bring all freshman and sophomores enrolled in band to a freshman and sophomore solo and small ensemble competition called Elkhorn Band Olympics.” Nolan said. In addition to growing underclassmen experience, Nolan strives to improve scores at districts and enter more students in the competition.

With Nolan in charge, new classes have been added to the curricular roster and old classes popularized. These new credits include History of Rock n’ Roll and guitar lessons. With Rock n’ Roll being a second semester exclusive, students can assure themselves that the class will be a hit. Along with these new classes, Nolan hopes to bring more music into the curriculum. With the likes of AP Music Theory, many students will be able to gain more experience with more challenging classes and exams.

“In 8th grade and all of freshman year here, I wasn’t trying in band and I was going to quit after one year. Ms. Nolan came here last year for my sophomore year and really made band and music fun for the school and now I’m planning to stay in band all four years and take music classes,” added Will Snyder ‘25.

The amount of effort that Ms. Nolan shows the program reflects on her students. Determined, enthusiastic, cool, and kind are just some of the many words that musical students use to describe the teacher. With the fine addition to the Mount Michael community, the knights can look forward to more enhanced music for the foreseeable future. 

As Ms. Nolan stated,” this is where I belong.”

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About the Contributor
Zach Wooten, Editor in Chief
Zach joined The Mount Journalism team in 2022. Outside of school Zach enjoys taking pictures and playing tennis.
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    Mary NipperNov 7, 2023 at 9:44 am

    We are so proud of the great strides the music program has made! Congratulations to all participants and especially your preceptor, Ms Emily Nolan! We hope your accomplishments continue in the future!