Stringing along

SHS’s guitar club plays their first concert


Photo contributed by Thara's father Ngheta Vanlalngheta

The SHS guitar club perfoms the song “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in front of the SHS Auditorium. This was the group’s first perfomance ever in front of a crowd. Photo contributed by Thara’s father Ngheta VanlalnghetaThe SHS guitar club perfoms the song “O Come, All Ye Faithful” in front of the SHS Auditorium. This was the group’s first perfomance ever in front of a crowd.

SHS’s guitar club had their first performance on Dec. 9. Despite their struggles with recruiting club members and finding transportation, the club was still able to work past their difficulties and put on a show.
Piano teacher John McBurney first started the club in October of 2020 after finding out that SHS did not offer any guitar-based clubs.
McBurney thought that bringing in something he was familiar with, like his earlier days of directing guitar ensembles, would be a brilliant idea.
“There wasn’t anything available in the school yet as far as guitar option,” McBurney said. “It was a new place that didn’t have something, so, might as well provide it.”
Since the club started during a hybrid schedule, it was very challenging to balance teaching and managing the club. Many students also found it difficult to find rides or the time to attend. Now that everyone is back in school, transportation issues are not a huge problem for the club anymore.
“It was a real challenge because we were in the middle of the mix of virtual and in school education,” McBuney said.
As the club was setting up for the concert, they took their music stands and chairs out to the lobby and then began to play a collection of music that they worked on for six to seven weeks.
One of the members, Lalchawi Thara, is a sophomore at SHS. Before joining the club, Thara already had experiences with the guitar. After finding out that guitar club existed, Thara joined his freshman year.
Thara felt that the club did an amazing job at the concert. He also felt proud of the club members for their efforts in putting this concert together.
“I think it was really fun,” Thara said. “It was a good opportunity to show what our club can do and how much we’ve improved since the beginning.”
Before this year’s winter break, the club had 10 to 15 members that attended. However, after the break ended, the number went down.
Thara wants more people to join the guitar club and believes that students should use this chance to learn a new skill.
“It’s an opportunity for people to learn a new instrument,” Thara said. “And I think that’s really good.”
SHS Government teacher Lloyd Winebarger also joined guitar club last year. The guitar club accepts anyone that wants to be a member, even teachers.
Winebarger finds that guitar is a way for him to relieve stress. After hearing about the club, he was able to find a way to do the thing he loves while also teaching.
“I think it’s a lot of fun,” Winebarger said. “It’s a great place for kids to learn the basics of guitar and go and do whatever they want with those skills.”
Winebarger loved to see students who weren’t already members of a music class or club perform in front of an audience. Many members were able to gain new experiences and learn new lessons in working as a team.
Next year, SHS is offering students a guitar class as an elective. Upon hearing this, many members were thrilled that they could learn guitar during school hours.
“I hope this club provides an opportunity for students to learn how to read music and learn how to play whatever they want,” McBurney said.

Scan the QR code to see the club’s first performance!