Kusk returns to Coronado High music

       Coronado High School's often-honored music program will lose its orchestra director for two years, but in the place of Mindy Loewen will be another local music luminary - Richard Kusk.
       After directing band or orchestra at CHS from 1985 to 2000 (32 years in all in District 11), Kusk has been teaching private trumpet lessons; conducting two performing ensembles with the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Association; judging and working with local bands; and heading the 23-year-old Colorado Ambassadors of Music program, which typically sends more than 300 Colorado musicians to Europe every summer. In addition, Kusk has been inducted into the Halls of Fame for the Colorado Music Educator's Association and the Colorado Bandmaster's Association, according to information on the Youth Symphony website
       Coronado band director Alan Combs, who had worked with Kusk in the District 11 school system going back to the 1970s, described the temporary teaming with his old friend as “fantastic. We're having a blast.”
       Loewen was given the chance of a two-year teaching commitment at an English-speaking school in Berlin, Combs said.
       So as not to overload his schedule, Kusk will only take on Loewen's Coronado duties (she had also taught orchestra at Holmes Middle School). For that reason, Holmes has hired a part-time orchestra instructor this year, Combs explained.
       Kusk said it was not an easy decision to come back, but he values the musical level Coronado has reached and believes that working with the Youth Symphony over the past nine years has kept him from getting “out of shape” for teaching.
       “Mindy has a stellar reputation,” Kusk said. “I have the opportunity to keep it going while she's gone.”
       He does not plan any major changes in the program. “I worked with her at the end of last year, and we went over what worked well,” he said. “I want to keep things pretty much as they were.”
       The biggest changes since Kusk left Coronado are the new auditorium and greater reliance on electronic technology as part of the teaching job. He described the auditorium as “nice,” but said he might need a little help at first getting caught up on all the school's computer nuances.

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