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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Thousand Oaks

Band Director to Leave School

May 17, 2000|CHRIS G. DENINA

The band director who led the Thousand Oaks High School band to the Rose Parade last year and expanded the program to more than 200 students is calling it quits.

Bill Hoehne, 42, says he'll leave in June to earn his doctorate in music at USC, while teaching part time at Citrus College in Glendora.

"It's so much fun to listen and learn and be on the receiving end instead of the giving end," Hoehne said.

The departure of Hoehne is the second exit of a Conejo Valley performing arts teacher in a week. Westlake High School drama teacher John Ledwon said he plans to retire in June after more than 30 years at the school, the past 10 as drama teacher.

A search is underway for a replacement for Hoehne, who took over the band program in 1990. He said his doctorate work could take two years to complete. Afterward, Hoehne has the option of returning to the Conejo Valley Unified School District to teach, he said.

"I'll be Dr. Hoehne someday if all goes well," he said. "And I'll be a professor at a university if that turns me on and floats my boat. I have some things I have to explore and find out for myself."

Parent Bonnie Cabral has volunteered in the band room for 10 years, helping out where she can. She's seen her two children grow as musicians and now has a third child, Michelle, a junior, practicing the French horn.

In that time she's seen the program grow from 40 students to more than 200, thanks to Hoehne, she said.

She and other parents are confident the program will survive.

"We're all going to be sad, but I'm really happy for him he's going on and doing this for his life," said percussionist Lauren Kosty, a 16-year-old junior. "Next year, I think it will be challenging, but we can still all do it. We're all here for the music."

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