2 - April 13, 2012 | Salem Community Patriot Woodbury Middle School’s Pat Moeschen Inspires ‘Moeshen Mafia’
by Jay Hobson Pat Moeschen, a music teacher at Woodbury Middle School sits beside seventh grader Ashley Glynn, 13, and takes her through her drum lesson in the music room.
Glynn sits at the drum set and is partially hidden by a bass drum in front and an assortment of cymbals, snare drums and ‘hi hat’ cymbals around her. Moeschen, ever vigilant and critiquing Glynn’s rehearsal of lesson material, sits a couple of feet away in a black motorized wheel chair, the result of a diagnosis of Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy. But the diagnosis, given when Moeschen himself was in middle
school, doesn’t hold him back. “I was in the sixth grade when I was given the diagnosis of Becker Muscular Dystrophy. They had me sit on the floor and asked me to get up. They knew from my movements what the problem was,” Moeschen said. Moeschen is himself a drummer, picking up the sticks when he
was a student at Woodbury. “I was in the fifth grade, oh, back in 1984 and I had a dream of being a rock star and be on MTV, I thought that would be amazing. Once I got off the cloud, I mean, I was in a few bands and everything and I decided I was going to go to college for this (drumming) and I got into college and it was like everyone was better than you.
“Suddenly I’m not the big fish in a small pond anymore, it’s the
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other way and I’m like, wow it was tough.” Moeschen said. 1985, Moshen had his dream of drumming and performing on MTV and it was the very next year as a sixth grader in 1985 that the news of his condition was given to him. “Muscular Dystrophy is a progressive muscle disorder that is basically caused by the lack of a protein that’s coated by your amino acids. The protein in my muscles is manufactured abnormally they don’t know why.
progressive so okay I’m not always going to be walking I’m not always going to be able to be the rock star drummer,” Moeschen said. Moeschen, however loved music and he sought out another avenue where he could pursue music. “So I said okay, I’ll work in the studio and be behind the board things stopped me. Number one the math was brutal. There was engineering that I had to learn and the makeup of sound waves and things like that. They would put a CD on and they would say to us, ‘Listen to the mix of this tune. We’re going to give you formulas to calculate how big the room is where they recorded this, where were the instruments set up, was the drum
An unidentified student models the Moeschen Mafia T-shirt
to the right, left or center. Was the vocalist in a different booth and isolated stuff like that. They also wanted you to be able to engineer so that if you had a board break, you didn’t have to call anybody you could repair
Woodbury Middle School music teacher Pat Moeschen, left, listens to student drummer Ashley Glynn, 13, right, go through her lesson.
it yourself and I realized I wasn’t going to get the jobs that these guys around me kicking my butt were going to get,” Moeschen said. It wasn’t too long after his experience, when he about 20 years old that he was working with kids and his life took another turn. “I don’t know if was said to me or if it was my
own thought, but I thought maybe I would like to teach, maybe it would be fun. When I student taught in Londonderry, I absolutely loved it, but I knew I didn’t want middle school the kids can tough and cruel and brutally honest and everywhere I went for openings were all middle schools,” Moeschen said. Eventually he landed at Woodbury. “Other teachers would come up to me and say ‘Hi
Pat’ and I would say ‘Hi Mr. so and so’ and they’d say, ‘You don’t have to say the Mr. or Mrs. part now’ I mean it was weird for me to be back. It just goes to show you that you never know where you’re going to land. I mean I love it and I can’t imagine teaching at any other level,” Moeschen said. About five years ago Moeshen’s Mafia was born. “One day one of my students came in and he had a sticker on his horn case that said ‘Moeschen Mafia’ on it. I said ah, Josh do you know what the mafia is? He said no but that he thought it was a good name for a group and that the class was a group and maybe we could sell stickers with the name to raise money. Smart kid. so here we are now and we have T-shirts for $10 and $7 goes to the silk
screener and $3 goes to Muscular Dystrophy. We’ve sold about 200 shirts so far,” Moeschen said. The room where Moeschen teaches has walls lined with album
covers, the old vinyl record album covers from the Beatles, Joe Walsh, Pink Floyd among many others. The students drift in and out for their lessons and Pat Moeschen listens. He listens to what an untrained ear would be an off-key and struggling musician, but to Pat Moeschen, each pupil is a diamond in the rough and with the right guidance and attention to detail he is polishing each student to a bright musical sheen.
High School Chorus Excels at
Festival; Invited to the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts
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chorus recently competed in the WorldStridesHeritage Festival held at Harlem’s Riverside Church in New York City. The Concert Choir and Chamber Choir each received a silver medal, and the group received an overall rating of Excellent. With their outstanding performance at this festival, they have now been invited to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC next year.
District Maintenance Issues Prioritized
by S. Aaron Shamshoyan Building maintenance and
improvements were discussed at the school board meeting Tuesday, with a new report showing urgency for some repairs.
Superintendent Michael Delahanty explained to the board $230,000 worth of projects were yet to be completed, despite a recommendation to address the issues with expedience. Delahanty explained half the Haigh School roof needed repairs along with other jobs at both the Haigh and Soule Elementary schools. He said there was currently about $500,000 in the repairs account for the 2012-2013 budget.
Director of Maintenance for the district Jack Messenheimer said boilers in the middle and high school needed to be replaced. “We’re looking to have engineering done to replace the boilers,” he said. Messenheimer explained burners would be replaced in the middle school boilers to convert them to natural
gas, with a fuel source obtainable from Main Street. As to the high school, Messenheimer suggested replacing the boiler entirely with a natural gas substitute. He said gas lines currently ran through the bus port, and terminated at the SAU offices as that building is heated by gas. He said there would be no cost for running the pipes to the buildings for the district.
Delahanty said current oil tanks needed to be replaced. “The underground storage tanks at Salem High School are due to be replaced,” he said, adding they were required to be removed or replaced by 2014.
Messenheimer also explained he reclassified the value of some items in the report based on his views of priorities. “I saw some areas that were of a great concern to me.” He added some projects could be done in regular maintenance. The board plans to continue discussion at their next meeting.
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