Weber working to expand students’ worldview

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2016

An Escambia County Middle and High School choir conductor is expanding his students’ worldview through music.

Conrad Weber was the guest speaker at Rotary Club of Atmore’s weekly meeting, where he talked about issues his students face on a daily basis and how he is using music to bridge the cultural divide.

Weber talked in detail about the three main classes of society — poverty, middle class and wealth — from Ruby K. Payne Ph.D.’s book, “A Framework for Understanding Poverty: A Cognitive Approach.”

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A hand out was given to Rotarians with the different rules among the classes, and different scenarios from each.

On the use of language, Weber said the majority of minority or students in poverty do not have access to a formal language register at home. According to Payne’s book, a former register, language is about negotiation in the middle class, and about networking in the wealth class.

Through his work as a choir conductor in the school system, Weber said he’s tried to find ways to help expand these students’ worldview.

Next April, 12 high school students will travel to New York City to sing in a choir festival at Carnegie Hall.

The group of students is raising money for the trip, and held a dinner and concert on Dec. 13, at the school.

Those who would like to donate to the choir’s fundraising efforts, can call Weber at ECHS at 251-368-9181.