Former Fairview, MT, native returns home to continue school music program

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 1:14 PM CDT
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FAIRVIEW, M.T. (KUMV) - Students at Fairview School were hoping to find a music teacher after their former instructor resigned weeks before the first day of school. Their pleas reached a former graduate who lived thousands of miles away. Now, she’s back, keeping the music alive.

The Fairview band is playing on, now under the direction of Karolyn Orr, a former Fairview resident with several music degrees from Montana State University.

Orr moved away to Virginia in 2011, but when she heard the Fairview Music department was in trouble, Orr said she knew she had to help.

“These kids really need an outlet right now. They need a positive outlet that they can be proud of,” said Orr.

Fairview music instructor Karolyn Orr with choir students
Fairview music instructor Karolyn Orr with choir students(KUMV)

She’s a welcome sight for the band students.

“We enjoy Mrs. Orr,” said Landon Tveit, a sophomore trumpet player.

And she’s helpful for members of the choir.

“It’s nice to have someone that’s really invested in choir and knows what they are doing,” said Matiah Sharbono and Tia Joslin, choristers.

Orr said this class isn’t about the grade, it’s about building future musicians.

“I want them to go out into the world and love music. Not just our music, but music from different cultures and different genres,” said Orr.

Orr said she has big plans to grow the program and is dedicated to at least the next five years.

“I’m hoping by the end of the five years that Fairview has one of the best programs that can compete with Billings, Bozeman and the like,” said Orr.

Music was a big part of Orr’s life at Fairview School. Now she has the opportunity to share her hobby with other budding musicians, one note at a time.

Orr said she’s getting everyone prepared for Homecoming next week, and school-wide performances for the winter and spring.

Previous coverage: Uncertainty for Fairview School’s music program following sudden teacher resignation