VVS alum proud to give back to school


VERONA — Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School alumnus Brett Roden returned to give back to the school’s music community Tuesday.

Roden graduated from VVS in 2012, and 10 years later he still makes time to help grow the program that benefited him so much.

“The first time I came back as an alum was in 2017, when I directed the music for ‘Anything Goes,’” said Roden. “Now, I am a director in the Virginia Children’s Theatre, but it’s still so important for me to come back to my roots and my community. This program gave me my foundation, and being able to give back means everything to me.”

During this visit, Roden worked with drama students who are preparing for their performance of “Mama Mia” this spring. Using his experience in a professional theatre, he guided students through solos, ensemble songs, and helped them perfect their performances.

“We are fortunate to have alumni that are still so passionate about what we do here,” said Adam Chandler, VVS music teacher and musical director, who is a VVS alumnus himself.

“For a small, rural school district, we have a number of alumni who are professionals in the music industry. It’s wonderful that they stay connected with our program and offer their vacation time to come and work with our students.”

Nationally recognized by the NAMM Foundation as a Best Community for Music Education, the VVS Music Department is filled with passionate individuals who believe in giving students opportunities to engage with every aspect of music, from instruction to theory, performance, recording and beyond.

“The beauty of the VVS music community is that every student has the opportunity to shine,” said Eileen Hubbard, another VVS music teacher who is also an alumna.

“Any interested student can come into our program and find success,” Hubbard added.

Roden, an experienced musical theatre professional, administrator, business person and inspirer, prides himself on pushing his team to create an outstanding theatrical experience for his students, collaborators and all involved. He resides in Roanoke, Virginia full-time after moving to the area in 2017 from upstate New York. Roden received his bachelor’s of arts degree from SUNY Potsdam and The Crane School of Music, through the (SIIM) Student Initiated Interdepartmental Major, with a degree in musical theatre arts with an emphasis in music direction.

He has served as music director, vocal coach and teaching artist for the Tony Award-Winning Barrington Stage Company, Syracuse Children’s Theatre, Bogardus Performing Arts Center, SUNY Potsdam’s Creative Arts Camp, PHCC Patriot Players, Roanoke City Schools and a variety of school districts throughout New York.


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