Quince Orchard Awarded First Ever Wayne Whigham Memorial Grant 

September 2015

Quince Orchard High School is the first school to receive a $500 grant from the Wayne Whigham Memorial Fund for the school’s Digital Assessment and Growth program.  The school’s music department used the money to purchase ten new digital recorders.  The use of the recorders provides students the opportunity to learn using advanced technology, not just students who own smart phones or recording devices.  Students will listen critically to their recorded performances, assess their need for musical performance growth, and assist in the implementation of student learning objectives. 

“As far as the students are concerned, we are told constantly that our class is the only one out of the entire day that allows them a creative outlet to express themselves, and that it's where they can de-stress or get away from the pressures of standardized testing” said Carla McNeal, the assistant school administrator at Quince Orchard. 

The grant has already  helped  at least 300 band, orchestra and choral students improve their skills.

Students were able to record their songs individually in a practice room to be reviewed later by the teacher while course instruction continued on.  Students who recorded their own voices were able to perform a critical analysis of their work as well assist students who were nervous about performing alone, by placing the recorder close to themselves or their instrument to pick up the sounds, making it possible for teachers to assess their skills that way.

The students seemed to enjoy using and listening to their recordings as it allowed them to learn how they sound when they play or sing without teacher feedback. Recording also made it possible for the teacher to listen to the student’s performance repeatedly as well as point out room for improvement with playback options.

The recorders allowed the students to become more independent and learn from their mistakes as well as see exactly how they sound!

“Music is incredibly important to us because we believe that music is an art form that enriches the soul,” McNeal said. “We care about not only the minds of our students but the souls of our students.  We care about the type of people they become.”

The Wayne Whigham Memorial Fund Grant supports musical arts programs such as vocal and instrumental methods to expand learning opportunities for students interested in the musical arts.  The fund was created by colleagues, friends, and the Whigham family to honor his contributions to Montgomery County Public Schools.  Mr. Whigham’s family chose the musical arts as the beneficiary of the fund in response to Mr. Whigham’s passion for the musical arts.

Mr. Whigham, who played the guitar, served the Montgomery County Public Schools Community for almost 40 years, acting in the capacity of principal, vice principal and dean at several Montgomery County Public Schools.  He also served as a vice principal at Quince Orchard at one point during his career.


Grant Applications are now being reviewed for the 2015-2016 year.