Mr. Conkle begins working as Trinity high school’s new orchestra teacher


Jonathan Brodak

Mr. Conkle handing Senior Alina Mayton her sheet music

Trinity School District has welcomed many new teachers in the 2019-2020 school year, including Mr. Conkle. With his musical background, Conkle is excited to be teaching different music classes throughout the elementary and high school this year.

Conkle attended West Virginia University (WVU) where he received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. In his sophomore year at WVU,  he began to work with kids and realized that he wanted to teach orchestra. Conkle then went on to receive a Master of Music in Performance degree from Duquesne University. 

As an orchestra teacher, Conkle has a special connection to all music: “Music makes me feel lots of emotion, great joy and frustration.” 

Some of his joy comes from playing many different instruments.  Conkle’s favorite instrument to play is the timpani because of the loud, rumbling sound they make. The timpani is a drum and a member of the percussion family. 

Conkle has worked with a variety of schools, from those in West Virginia to Arizona, but he enjoys his work at Trinity because he likes the student population.

Conkle chooses his concert music for Trinity students from a combination of internet sources and other orchestra teachers in the area. He tries to schedule as many concerts as he can throughout the year so he can highlight the student’s talents as much as possible.

Along with orchestra, he also works with the marching band in the high school. This year is his third year working with them. According to staff and members of the band, he is a “great addition.”

“Having Mr. Conkle’s help is fantastic and wonderful. He always makes sure students stay on track,” said Mr. Fiem.

With that being said, many people feel his style of teaching the band is effective and they believe that is what makes the band better than ever.

“He’s a cool guy. He pretty much makes us so scared to disappoint him that we somehow just kinda pull it off,” said Lily Fanase, a member of the marching band. 

Besides helping the band, he also teaches guitar classes. Conkle is at the high school from homeroom through the end of third period. During the rest of the day, he travels to other schools in the district: on Monday he’s at Trinity North, Tuesday at Trinity South, Wednesday at Trinity West, Thursday at Trinity East, and Friday at Trinity West and East.

With a presence in each of these schools, Conkle hopes to improve the music program throughout the district as he continues through his first year as a Hiller.