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Band director at Harlem High School goes above and beyond to help kids connect through music

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virtual band class 2
Photo Credit: Andy Frieden
Mr. Perian edited
Photo Credit: Andy Frieden and

MACHESNEY PARK (WREX) — A teacher at Harlem High School is making sure his students have a place they belong, especially this year. The extra effort has paved ways for generations of music educators.

For performers, what's a concert without an audience? When social distancing took gathering out of the equation, Harlem High School didn't postpone performances, it gave it new life.

"This is definitely a year that they are probably going to remember and talk about, so how can we make it a good one," said Harlem High School's Band Director Tim Perian.

Perian helped record, edit and post band videos for the entire Harlem School District while in-person events continue to be restricted due to COVID-19.

"He had people come in on a Saturday to the school record it, and he spent the entire day just working with all the different band classes from the middle and high school," said Andy Frieden, a senior and student of Mr. Perian. "It was just a great day and a great time.

Photos and video gathered from Harlem Bands Winter Concert 2021:

The director's selfless efforts is something Frieden takes to heart.

"He always is positive regardless of the outcome and pushes us towards what is our best but also beyond that in ways. It's truly incredible and I hope to have an impact on other people just as much as he has had on myself," said Frieden.

"I get to see them improve and make something beautiful in the band room. It's just priceless," said Perian.

Perian became an educator because his own teacher helped him find a sense of belonging through music. That inspiration to teach trickled down to Andy. He too wants to become a music educator.

"Spaces to really have a community within a classroom, and I think band is a really cool opportunity to do that because it is so much of a team aspect," said Perian when asked what he hopes to provide to his students.

"It means a lot to me and certainly a bunch of other students as well," said Frieden.

Creating generations of music lover inspired to persevere and perform. Click here to watch the full Harlem Bands Winter Concert 2021.

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Cassandra Bretl

Multimedia Journalist
Cassandra is the morning reporter for 13 News Today.
She joined the WREX team in July of 2019 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a major, minor and a certificate.
She is excited to bring her skills back to the 815 where she is originally from.
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