Yes, the (bluegrass) circle will be unbroken
It may not be in the official curriculum, but bluegrass music will be heard again next fall at Olathe North High School.
In the academic year that ended in May, students, and some staff members, have joined orchestra director Cecily Mahan for twice-weekly bluegrass sessions scheduled over the noon hour.
“I have been playing in several different bluegrass and Celtic social groups in the Kansas City area this past year and I’m having a blast,” Mahan said. “The groups that I play in are so much fun and the people are so genuine, so I thought to myself, ‘Why aren’t I teaching this?’"
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The bluegrass sessions allow students to try out instruments like the mandolin and hammer dulcimer, to relieve stress in the middle of the school day and to connect with previous generations. The group has attracted students who aren't part of band or orchestra.
“This type of music encourages creative improvisation and provides a safe and fun group to jam with,” said Mahan. “Bluegrass teaches musical form, music theory, excellent technical skills. Playing these songs help students and adults continue playing the songs that our fathers and grandfathers knew in their youth. How can you go wrong with that?”
Next year, she hopes to expand the group and schedule more performances at school and social events. The musicians already have played at eighth-grade orientation and the Olathe North Culture Fair.
“My hope is that students from all over Olathe North hear about his group and want to join,” said Mahan. “If you can play one chord, then you can participate.”
Olathe school registration opens July 9
The Olathe School District will begin online registration for the upcoming school year on July 9. Families are encouraged to complete the task by July 26, when the schools will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Families who are new to the district must visit their child's school on July 26. They can get help with online registration then or by calling the registration help line 913-780-7781 staring July 9.
At their schools on July 26, middle school students can pick up their schedules, check out their lockers and purchase spirit wear. At the high schools, students can pick up their yearbooks, get a parking pass and purchase spirit wear. Other activities may vary that day at the secondary schools and will be communicated by the principal.
Price rises soon for Olathe Charities run
July 31 is the last day to pay $30 for entering the fourth annual Olathe Charities 5K and Fun Run, an Aug. 25 event where registrants can direct a portion of their fee to a specific charity.
The price goes up to $35 on Aug. 1 and $40 on race day.
The morning race will take place at the College Boulevard Activity Center, 11031 S Valley Road. The current list of charities includes the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, Immigrant Connection, Kansas Rush Soccer Club, KindCraft, Olathe Health Charitable Foundation, Olathe Parks & Recreation Foundation, the Olathe Police Foundation and the Olathe Trailblazers Special Olympics.
Visit OlatheKS.org/OlatheCharities5K for more information or to register. Non-profit organizations also can go there to apply to be a beneficiary of the race.
New picnic shelter for rent at Mahaffie
The shelter is available from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information or to rent it, visit mahaffie.org or call 913-971-5501.