When my husband and I chose Canfield in August 2008, for its test scores, low cost of living, seasons, and nonexistent crime we did not realize the small minded mentality our seventh-grader would face in band director Mr. Volenik. We are native Arizonans and in Tucson, our son had played steel pan for three years with Don Cox in the Catalina Foothills and U of A program. He has two CDs and very talented. None of this was slightly interesting to Mr. Volenik. It bothered Mr. Volenik that we didn't like the "preferred" lesson teacher (a former student, Chris, and a former teacher, Mr. Drevdna) so much that my son did not play in one concert even though he was in symphonic. Our satisfaction came when my son scored the highest score at the Ohio State Solo & Ensemble test, through his private tutor at Motter's Music, Ed Davis. We figured when my son wasn't allowed to bring in his steel pan to even show it off or help in the Caribbean theme concert, it must be that we aren't related to a soul and we are new.
Imagine our suprise when we heard Boardman has a steel pan in its band! We heard that a young man with a similar story moved into Boardman district, BUT instead of being squashed, he played for all and has now taught two others and they play in the band. It is just so exciting and amazing! We have contacted Mr. (Tom) Ruggieri, the Boardman director in hopes of all the kids playing together for fun. Maybe I should have picked Boardman. Maybe my son would still love band. For now, he still loves percussion and steel pan. Too bad for Canfield.