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DeVries: a ‘key’ role

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A vital part of any organization, musical or not, is its support staff.

Mrs. DeVries is just that to the LPHS choirs: not only does she hold the large responsibility of accompanying all of the choirs, but she helps with record keeping, directing the choirs, and maintains uniforms and robes.

DeVries came to LPHS in 2006. Before becoming a Slicer, she taught in the Duneland School Corporation for 10 years. She came here to work with Charles Steck (now retired) and Tom Coe, both of which she had connections with outside of the school. Her current position at LPHS is also full-time, something she did not have at Duneland.

DeVries attended Indiana State University, where she majored in Oboe performance and minored in piano performance. While she spends the majority of her time playing piano for the LPHS choirs, she still plays her oboe in her off time.

“I enjoy playing my oboe in the South Shore Orchestra and the Michigan City band,” DeVries said.

Of course, her biggest passion lies in accompanying the choirs that she has worked with over the years.

“My 6th-grade music teacher asked me to accompany the choir, and I was hooked. I feel it is a great way to perform and work towards a common goal while I am not the center of attention. I see it as being part of the ‘supporting cast’ so to speak so I am much more comfortable,” DeVries said.

While she spends most of her time in the “supporting cast,” DeVries’ efforts don’t go unnoticed by her coworkers and students.

“Mrs. DeVries does an unbelievable amount of work to support the choirs. The ‘classroom’ (musical) jobs she does are impressive on their own but when you add the wardrobe on to that, it’s a job that would probably take at least three people to achieve. All the fitting, altering, laundering, pressing, tagging, hanging, preparing, moving… it’s ALL done by her. One person. She is pretty amazing! I hope the students see her as a role model for being a motivated worker and that they strive for that in themselves on some level,” Tom Coe, choir director, said.

DeVries, alongside the rest of the music staff here in the La Porte Community School Corporation, believes in the qualities of music that can bring humans together.

“Music engages all of your senses and can represent different things to different people. It encourages me to be a lifelong learner,” DeVries said.

LPHS is just lucky that lifelong learner is molding minds and inspiring hearts here.

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