By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison High School band director Bart Pickenpaugh resigned June 19.
Additionally, Middle School North band director Jane Canaday decided to retire.
“Bart resigned for personal reasons. Jane could have retired some time ago,” said Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner. “Assistant Band Director Jonah Hurtig is replacing Bart. We posted Jonah’s position and Jane’s position today.”
In a letter to students and parents, Groveport Madison Superintendent Garilee Ogden wrote that Hurtig will provide “the stability and continuity to keep the program on track.”
“Mr. Hurtig is very knowledgeable, well respected, and he has done an excellent job as the GMHS assistant band director for the past two years,” wrote Ogden.
In an email message to students and parents, Pickenpaugh said he resigned for personal reasons and he pursue other professional opportunities.
“I have enjoyed my time in the district and the opportunity to get to know and work with all of you. I encourage you to continue your musical endeavors!” wrote Pickenpaugh
In her letter Ogden wrote, “Mr. Pickenpaugh and Mrs. Canaday have done an outstanding job leading our middle and high school band programs and we are extremely grateful to them for their service and commitment to our students and to our school district.”
Warner said Pickenpaugh’s resignation will not adversely impact the band’s summer practices and the band will still perform in the Groveport Fourth of July parade.
“We are moving forward,” said Warner.
When asked if any cuts were being planned for the band program, Warner said,
“No cuts! We are committed to offering the same level of programming next year as was offered this past year.”
Ogden said the district is proud of the band program and wants to do everything possible to maintain the standards of excellence that have come to define the music program.
“We are committed to ensuring the same opportunities for students this coming year as we have had in the past,” wrote Ogden. “Our goal is to have a full band staff in place in time for band camp. We do not anticipate any changes to the program other than to possibly consider recommendations that the band directors believe would benefit the program in one way or another.”