Shared Passion Passed On: Peet Melodies showing zeal for musical dreams

In her second year of being in control of the Peet Junior High Melodies, Samantha Eilers has continued her passion for music through helping junior high students who are in need of somewhere to belong.

“I think that in junior high some kids have a hard time finding a place where they feel like they fit in. I strive to make the choir room a place for all,” Eilers said.

For her and junior high student Alyssa Joyce, music sends them to a special place. “When I start to sing, or when I’m onstage, I see colors brighter, and I feel warm and happy. Even if I get nervous, I still love it. I can’t even describe the feeling,” Joyce said.

Her passion for music began during her fifth grade year when she missed the opportunity to perform her first solo.

“Not getting that solo mattered a lot to me at the time because it was given to my best friend,” she said.

Joyce’s musical journey was just beginning when she was denied the solo, and she attributes much of this early growth to her teacher, Ben Bartlett.

Bartlett was the Cedar Heights vocal music teacher for many years who passed away June 10, 2015, in an automobile accident. His two children, Bailey and Charlie also passed away in the accident.

“That was when I started wanting to be more involved in music. Mr. Bartlett taught me that if I have a dream, all I have to do is try, and I will achieve that dream, no matter what people say, no matter what they think. If I just try, I can be whatever I want to be, and that’s when I decided that I would always give my all no matter what,” she said.

Joyce said she and others will remember Bartlett forever, as his passion for music lives on in students impacted by his own love for song.

“I just love it, and I do what I love because it’s not only a part of me, but it’s something that I can share with others. Being accepted into Melodies is just the start of my biggest dream,” she said.

The Peet Junior High Melodies group will have its first performance Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Peet Junior High new gym.

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