Introducing the Oceanside Pirate Regiment!
Monster Aid is thrilled to present our first ever Quarterly Cause, the Oceanside High School Pirate Regiment. From now until March 31st, 10% of every purchase supports passionate young musicians.
Here is Ellyn King, the Instrumental Music Director of the Pirate Regiment, to tell us the story of how music transformed her life and how she’s adapted her music program to help students continue their growth as musicians during a pandemic.
Ellyn first pursued music when she was in middle school and continued through college. Her love for music blossomed when she joined her school’s band in 6th grade and grew stronger as the years went on.
“I think I took progressively, one more music class each year until my junior year of high school. Half my schedule was music, and I’d take language classes at the community college to make more time for music.”
Ellyn attributes a lot of her ongoing pursuit of music to her teachers who made an impact on her life.
“They made a really big difference to me, and I saw how they made a difference for the students around me, through all the various life events, traumas of being a highschooler… and it was really amazing to see what music could do for people. I decided I wanted to give back.”
How music brings people together through COVID-19
A pandemic can, at first, create a distance due to uncertainty and protocols. But music is a sort of magic. It can bring people together and touch their hearts without any physical contact.
“It’s been really cool to see what the students have been able to do with music, even at a distance.” Despite the challenges of teaching in a pandemic and worries about providing a sense of connection to students, Ellyn says her students have surpassed her expectations this year.
“I’m really proud to say that my students really stepped up this year. They were pushing me, honestly, to create more ways… for outreach and community building.”
The class’ enthusiasm for giving their all to their music has inspired Ellyn to seize every opportunity for the music program to thrive and exceed its goals.
Digital music and video production
In lieu of in-person rehearsals, this year, the Pirate Regiment has been working on recording their very own small ensemble.
Students choose their own song, rehearse it with their classmates, edit it, and post the finished product online.
“The kids really took it and ran with it. They created some truly creative and fantastic ensemble pieces, and a lot of them went above and beyond.”
From playing multiple instruments, making use of looping pedals, and exceeding her expectations, Ellyn knew her class was something special.
The Pirate Regiment held its first-ever virtual Winter Concert this year, which features the work of the students.
“It’s really cool... to say it wasn’t me, it was all them. That’s the way it should be. I think the educator’s job is to facilitate and empower students to take their own initiative in their educational journey… I’m super excited to share it with everybody.”
How your support makes a difference
10% of every apparel purchase from Monster Aid goes directly to the Pirate Regiment.
This goes directly towards their $20,000 yearly goal that supports all of the students’ music endeavors - from costuming for the color guard, memberships to competition circuits, transportation to festivals, show props, and mentors for private lessons.
Supporting our community means the world to us at Monster Aid. We hope that the students of Oceanside High School will be able to pursue their music passion and play on with all they’ve got.