from L-R: Andrew McDonald, Gloria Farris, Blaine Bitticks, Nicole Ayala, Dylan Jurado, Angelica Salas, Maria Zuniga, Shari North in back--- photo, V. Aves
With every great organization there are great leaders. One of these for the Woodrow Wilson Wildcat band is Shari Lynn North. She stands tall, wide-eyed and smiling in the background of most performances beaming with pride as she listens to her flute students in the Woodrow Wilson High School Wildcat band perform. With the DISD recognition of the Woodrow Wilson Wildcat Band getting Sweepstakes this past school year in the 5-A UIL competition, many components help make the band sound so great. Mrs. North has helped achieve the feat of taking not one, or two, but THREE band flute trios to state in the past 4 years! The Senior flute trio consisting of Manuela Arroyave, Blaine Bitticks and Angelica Salas have been to the state competition all 4 years in high school. This is quite an accomplishment! The Sophomore flute trio are: Lizzie Herrera, Dylan Jurado, and Gloria Farris. The Freshman flute trio are: Andrew McDonald, Lily Franz, and Melanie Vasquez. Two of the three flute trios went to the State UIL competition this year. Shari has been teaching flute and served as a band director or assistant band director in the D/FW metroplex since 1987 and humbly says that it really is all about the kids. She starts teaching some of her students from Woodrow when they are at JL Long Middle School and capturing their interests early on.
Shari, is not just a flute instructor at Woodrow, she has also served as the Swim Club Booster Liaison for the school. Mrs. North has daughters that attend Booker T. Washington HS for the performing arts and one swims for the Woodrow Swim team. So she is a mom on the sporting sidelines as well!
When you watch her give instruction to her students, you can hear the excitement in her voice as her student hits a note or performs above what was expected. That enthusiasm is reflected not only on stage but during music competitions and there is a true respect for Mrs. North in the band hall. Many of her students say that she has a mother’s approach to teaching.
These are quotes from the graduating Senior trio: Manuela Arroyave, “ Being a part of this trio has allowed me to grow as a musician. It has been one of the best experiences of being in band, but the most important part for me is that being in this trio has allowed me to develop some of the best friendships of my high school years – friendships that will undoubtedly continue to exist long after high school.” Blaine Bitticks, “ We’ve grown together over the past four years not just as musicians, but friends that are inseparable. Together we have had ups and downs, but I wouldn’t rather have them with anyone else!” Angelica Salas, “It’s been amazing being with these Manuela and Blaine these past four years. It’s helped us get closer and build our musical talents together.”
Mr. Chris Evetts, Director of Bands for Woodrow Wilson High School says, “Shari is like an assistant band director…an enormous mother figure with unending enthusiasm for our kids…most of all, she is a fountain of energy…”
The leader or the Woodrow Wilson High School “pied pipers” continues her legacy here in East Dallas and now with graduating Seniors going off to college – even beyond!