Garth Moline has returned to a part of the state he enjoys as he takes the baton to direct the Lovell High School and Lovell Middle School bands.
Moline replaces Jessica Schreiner, who resigned last spring to pursue an advanced degree.
Born and raised in Riverton, Moline is a 2004 graduate of Riverton High School. He played the clarinet in high school concert band and twice earned all-state honors. He added the saxophone, mostly the tenor sax, for jazz band.
Moving on to the University of Wyoming, he initially planned to study medicine and was in the pre-med program but had a change of heart and decided to pursue a career in music. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in music education in 2009.
Moline taught grades 6-12 band and 9-12 choir at Tongue River Schools from 2009-12, then grades 5-8 choir and 7-12 band in Buffalo from 2012-16.
Moline and wife Lara then decided to return to college to pursue advanced degrees at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. Lara had already earned a Master’s Degree in vocal jazz performance at Western Michigan University and went to work at UW on her doctorate in choral conducting with an emphasis in music history and vocal jazz.
Garth Moline earned his Master’s Degree in music with an emphasis in music education in 2018, then taught grades 5-8 general music and high school band at the Windsor Charter Academy near Greeley while Lara finished her doctorate.
When Lara was hired as a visiting professor of music at Northwest College in Powell, Garth saw an opening for a part-time band director in Lovell and was hired.
“We love the area up here,” Moline said. “We wanted to get back to the beautiful part of the state and to quality people, too. I hope it works out in the long run.”
Technically, Lara Moline has only a one-year contract at NWC while the former professor of music is on sabbatical, but both Garth and Lara hope their jobs will become permanent.
Garth Moline’s position in Lovell is part-time (actually 5/8ths time, he said), because Lovell choir director Rachel Schoessler has moved to full-time status by teaching the music performance classes formerly taught by Schreiner. Moline is teaching middle school and high school band and will add jazz band, which will meet before school.
“We’re investing to be here long term,” Moline said. “I inherited a strong program in terms of kids and performance.”
Asked about his goals for the band program, Moline said he is learning “where the kids are and who they are” before deciding where to take them.
“In middle school I have a super solid group of young musicians who are eager to learn,” he said. “Everyone shows up with a smile on their face and ready to learn. It’s really refreshing.
“In high school the kids are playing the daylights out of their instruments. We have great junior/senior leadership, and it’s fun to come to work every day. It’s kind of a quiet leadership, but it’s so cool.”
Garth and Lara Moline live in Powell near the college where Lara teaches, and Garth also teaches saxophone and guitar at NWC, along with directing a jazz guitar ensemble.
By David Peck