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One Class at a Time: Hellgate Elementary band teacher Kristen Guidoni

OCAT Kristen Guidoni
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Posted at 9:45 AM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 11:45:21-05

MISSOULA — This week's One Class at a Time grant winner is Kristen Guidoni, who teaches fifth through eighth grade band at Hellgate Elementary School in Missoula.

Guidoni, who was congratulated by Chad Bauer of Republic Services, told us that band and music are a big part of student life at Hellgate Elementary.

"Over 95% of our population is in music classes. And so, our band classes are pretty big here. This school really, really supports music education,” Guidoni said.

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Guidoni will use the $250 grant to purchase new music for her band classes, focusing on composers of different backgrounds, race and gender, showing students that anyone can compose music no matter their culture or background.

When Guidoni told her students that she won the award, they broke into applause -- and many are sending her ideas for music to purchase.

"Our band library is very outdated, very old. The new push in music education is to get music that is written by composers of all backgrounds, to introduce students to all cultures,” Guidoni said. “So, my goal is to buy new music for them, so they get to experience more education and see things beyond Montana."