Teachers and principal will rock at Lyndonville talent show

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 March 2014 at 12:00 am

‘Common Core’ will entertain at intermission, playing AC/DC, Johnny Cash and more

Photo by Tom Rivers – The “Common Core” band of Lyndonville teachers and a principal gets together Monday. Pictured from left include Brian Lang on guitar, Jason Wilhelm as lead singer and guitar, Kristina Best on drums and Aaron Slack on guitar. John Bailey is also part of the group.

LYNDONVILLE – The annual talent show at Lyndonville Central School is a much-anticipated event, with several hundred people packing into the school’s Stroyan Auditorium.

The event, in the past, has included teachers, but that participation had tapered off in recent years. However, the teachers will be back on stage for Thursday’s talent show, and they’ll be back in a big way.

Four teachers plus Middle/High School Principal Dr. Aaron Slack will perform in a rock band, “Common Core.” The band will make its debut and play about 10 songs during intermission, and the audience will hear a variety of music from hard-rocking AC/DC to contemporary Christian.

The band is led by lead singer and rhythm guitarist Jason Wilhelm, who is also the district’s information technology director. He is part of a U2 cover band.

“I think when the kids see us up on the stage it will excite them to get more involved in the school,” Wilhelm said.

The Lyndonville band will also perform songs by Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, Imagine Dragons, and Darius Rucker.

Courtesy of Lyndonville Central School – This doctored poster hangs in the Lyndonville community promoting a performance by Common Core, which includes from left: PE and health teacher Brian Lang, high school band teacher Kristina Best, school district IT director Jason Wilhelm, elementary music teacher John Bailey and middle/high school principal Dr. Aaron Slack.

Wilhelm and Slack are joined in “Common Core” by elementary physical education and health teacher Brian Lang, high school band teacher Kristina Best, and elementary music teacher John Bailey. The teachers are busy leading extracurricular programs at Lyndonville, including coaching sports and playing in the high school musical. Slack also has been busy working on the district’s budget.

The busy schedules have made it a challenge for the band to practice for Thursday’s show. But they have found time. After a final rehearsal on Wednesday, Slack said the group will be ready.

“We want to show students that they can pursue musicianship when they are older,” said Slack, who is a freelance guitar player for different bands.

Lang, the PE teacher, also hopes the band’s willingness to perform for a big crowd will encourage students to try more activities in school, even ones that are outside their comfort zones.

“We hope the kids will see us in a different way outside of normal roles at school,” Lang said. “I think we might be able to motivate the kids to be more involved.”

“Common Core” was picked as a name for the band. That is also the name for the state’s new standardized testing program.

The talent show begins at 7 p.m. and includes 15 student acts that include dancing, singing, tumbling and cheerleading, and various musical ensembles. Tickets are available at the door. Proceeds will go towards the junior/senior prom.