An Interview with New Music Department Staff

October 20, 2021

This year, Stamford High welcomed two new teachers to the faculty. Meet Dr. Peter Hadley and Matthew Gurecki! Our new additions to the SHS music department. Dr. Hadley will be in the choir room, while Gurecki will be will be in the band room. Two students from the Round table, Ma’ Kyia Barkley and Sa’ Naya Gaines, sat down with them to interview them about their position as neophytes in the SHS campus. We hope that they will feel welcome in our exciting and diverse community!

Dr. Peter Hadley: Chorus

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Round Table: How do you like Stamford High so far?  

Dr. Hadley: I like Stamford High a lot!  I think the students are great, all of the students are very nice and pleasant and good to work with.  I like working at a high school.  I’ve always taught all kinds of levels from younger students to college students.  

 

Round Table:Is this your first year working in Stamford or in a high school?  If so, what made you want to?  

Dr. Hadley:This is my third school in Stamford.  I’ve worked at Toquam Elementary School, New Field Elementary School, and Cloonan Middle School.  So this is my first year in high school and fourth year in Stamford.   

 

Round Table:Are you comfortable here?  Do you feel like you fit in?  

Dr. Hadley:I do feel comfortable…I feel as though I fit in.  The staff and students are very nice and make me feel like I fit in.  

 

Round Table:What made you want to teach music?

Dr. Hadley:Music has always been a passion of mine, I’ve always loved playing music.  So teaching music is a way for me to share that passion with other people.  In the same way that I’ve had great music teachers in my life, I’d like to be a great music teacher for others.  

 

Round Table:Do you do any music outside of school? 

Dr. Hadley:Oh yes I do.  Currently I’m a little bit over extended.  I play flute with Westport Community Band, I also sing baritone for them.  I also started playing the bass guitar.  

 

Round Table:What’s different from this school and your last school?  

Dr. Hadley:The age group is different.. At Cloonan, I was doing general music and choir.  Here, at Stamford High, I do keyboards, concert choir, madrigals, and jazz band.  

 

Round Table:What is your nationality?

Dr. Hadley:I’m from Australia.  

 

Round Table:What’s something else you would want us to know about you?  

Dr. Hadley: I am a multi-instrumentalist.  I’m interested in many different genres of music.  My interests lead me in many different directions.  I have started sailing again, I used to when I was younger.  I also like to cook! 

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Matthew Guckeri: Band

Round Table: How do you like Stamford High so far?  

Mr. Gurecki: It’s good, it’s good, it’s very nice.  I think it is stressful for all teachers, it’s difficult being a new teacher. After you get your feet planted it’s great. My students are great, the teachers are great, long story short I enjoy it.

 

Round Table:Is this your first year working in Stamford?

Mr. Gurecki:Yes.  

 

Round Table: Are you comfortable here?  Do you feel like you fit in?  

Mr. Gurecki:Yes. 

 

Round Table: What made you want to teach music?

Mr. Gurecki:I was first introduced to playing music when I played piano.  I enjoyed my teacher.  She was very kind.  She could tell I didn’t practice and she was very encouraging.  I went from piano, I took a band in middle school to high school.  In high school I realized how interested I was.  My sister went for a music teacher degree, I went as well…the rest is history.

 

Round Table:Do you play music outside of school? 

Mr. Gurecki:Not as much as I’d like, especially with COVID; A lot is shut down.  Two years ago I helped with a community orchestra in Boston called the “Me Too Orchestra”, dedicated to mental health awareness.

 

Round Table:Where have you worked before?

Mr. Gurecki:I worked as a [paraeducator] in Fairfield.  I worked as a band director in Boston at a charter school.  I worked at Westhill as a marching band instructor.  

 

Round Table:Where are you from?

Mr. Gurecki:I am from Tennessee.  

Round Table:Do you like it in Connecticut in contrast to Tennessee?

Mr. Gurecki:I really liked Tennessee, but I haven’t been there for 10 years.  I haven’t been an adult there, only in Connecticut. Although I miss nature, Stamford isn’t very big but bigger than some places , it’s the right size and Connecticut is fine.  

 

Round Table:What is something else you would like us to know about yourself?

Mr. Gurecki:I like to cook. I have a dog named Apple, she’s delightful.  And I’m excited…Very excited to be here. 

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