News Flash

Latest News

Posted on: December 5, 2019

Music teacher composes alma mater for Ray-Pec High School

performance of alma mater

After learning that Raymore-Peculiar High School did not have an official alma mater, Vocal Music Teacher Stephen Rew created one. Over the summer, he wrote the music and lyrics for the song. The first public performance of the alma mater was during the Nov. 15 pep assembly at the high school.

Rew, a Ray-Pec High School graduate, started wondering about the alma mater while attending college.

“I remember sitting in my Freshman Choir class at UMKC learning its alma mater,” he said. “Many of the singers around me began to share the alma mater from their schools. Lee's Summit, Blue Springs, Belton, Liberty and others all had their own songs about the school. All we (Ray-Pec) had was a fight song. I just assumed that Ray-Pec had an alma mater, but that no one had taught it to us or that it was no longer performed.”

When Rew returned to the high school as vocal music teacher for the 2017 school year, he learned that there was no alma mater in the school’s history. He talked with Principal Steven Miller, Activities Director Tom Kruse, and others about the importance of having an alma mater, which is an official song or anthem for a school.

Over the summer, Rew sat down to write a song for Ray-Pec.

 “I researched what elements should be included, and researched common tunes, but in the end an original composition seemed right as I attempt to leave a legacy at Ray-Pec,” he said. 

The song begins: “All hail to RP High, our home for learning true…to the black and the white and the gold we sing, alma mater unto you.” Rew said the tune and first line came easily as alma maters often begin with the name of the school and items connected to it.

 “My first concert at RPHS dealt with the idea of ‘home,’ and I wanted to include an element of that, but I struggled throughout the summer to find the perfect message for the second half,” he said. “Our district's mission to prepare students for a successful and meaningful life was at the front of my mind. My goal for students is that they will achieve whatever future they find meaningful. It is captured in the line: ‘as the future calls us to chase our dreams.’ An RP grad myself, I wanted to capture the idea that many of us look back fondly on our school days. ‘...our thoughts will ever be with the place we called home...’.” 

He also wanted to honor the staff that puts so much care and guidance into each and every student, and included the line: "...and the love we were shown and our Ray-Pec family."  

During many drafts and versions practiced by the high school Chamber Singers, Rew worked to find the perfect harmonies and subtleties to make what he hopes will be a lasting composition for Ray-Pec. 

"Once a Panther, Always a Panther … now we have a song to sing together!” he said.

The composition was a labor of love for Rew, who grew up in the community and is a 1999 graduate of Ray-Pec High School. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Conservatory of Music, and then taught vocal and instrumental music for one year in the Drexel School District, where he was selected Teacher of the Year in 2005. From 2005 to 2008, he taught vocal music at Ray-Pec Middle School. For the 2008-2009 school year, he was a graduate teaching assistant at UMKC, while he completed his Master’s degree in music education. He then returned to Ray-Pec in fall 2009 as vocal music teacher at Eagle Glen Intermediate School. He was selected Ray-Pec Teacher of the Year in 2013. 

He held that position until taking the choral music director position in 2017 at Ray-Pec High School.

Rew is currently president of the Missouri Choral Directors Association.

Rew’s wife, Cinthia, is also a Ray-Pec graduate. They live in Raymore with their children  Mason, who attends East Middle School, and Chloe, who attends Creekmoor Elementary. #peopleofraypec


(Photo by Student Braden Zaner)

 

 



Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Latest News

Ray-Pec cheer at UCA

Ray-Pec cheerleaders compete at nationals

Posted on: February 13, 2020
Toys for Tots group

Student raises funds for Toys for Tots

Posted on: February 13, 2020
Sarah Chellberg at Dec BOE

Board honors Sarah Chellberg

Posted on: January 3, 2020
Deborah Hale

Sympathy notice - Death of RPHS teacher

Posted on: December 19, 2019
December PIc 2

RPHS Students of the Month for December

Posted on: December 12, 2019
Softball team at BOE Nov 2019

School Board honors softball team

Posted on: November 22, 2019
You-serious-Clark

Last week to order RPHS yearbooks

Posted on: November 19, 2019
RP Hailee cheer 2019

Hailee Teeter earns All-State cheer honors

Posted on: November 18, 2019
RP varsity cheer 2019

Ray-Pec Cheerleaders are state champions!

Posted on: November 18, 2019
RP JV cheer 2019

JV cheerleaders win state championship!

Posted on: November 18, 2019
SurveyRedMouse

Share your feedback on school calendar

Posted on: November 13, 2019
RPSD STEAM Expo 2019 Flyer

STEAM Expo is tonight!

Posted on: November 12, 2019
Trick or Treat so Tots Can eat

Trick or Treat so Tots Can Eat!

Posted on: November 6, 2019
LostinYonkers

High School to present "Lost in Yonkers"

Posted on: October 29, 2019
kick at 10182019

Sports updates

Posted on: October 25, 2019
October Pic (2)

RPHS Students of the Month for October

Posted on: October 22, 2019
SOM September 2019

RPEMS recognizes Students of the Month

Posted on: October 21, 2019
IMG_9927

2018-2019 RPHS yearbook receives award

Posted on: October 4, 2019
Ruth Johnson Award

Ruth Johnson honored for advocacy work

Posted on: October 2, 2019
2019 Homecoming Queen

Marissa Dick is 2019 Homecoming Queen

Posted on: September 27, 2019
seniorgroup

RPHS announces 2019 Homecoming candidates

Posted on: September 18, 2019
MSBA logo 2

Board begins search for new superintendent

Posted on: September 16, 2019
Softball tournament champions

Softball team wins tournament

Posted on: September 16, 2019
Fall Food Drive 2019

Ray-Pec CAN sponsors Fall Food Drive

Posted on: September 4, 2019
New teachers cover graphic

District welcomes new teachers!

Posted on: August 21, 2019
family at registration

Back to school registration

Posted on: August 5, 2019
Country Club Bank donates to RP Foundation

Country Club Bank supports Foundation

Posted on: August 1, 2019
BOE honors Huffman

School Board honors Audrey Huffman

Posted on: July 31, 2019
summer-school-logo

Sign up for Summer School

Posted on: April 5, 2019
USA-Flag-West-U-Rotary

Memorial Day

Posted on: May 24, 2019
trapshooting

Ray-Pec Trapshooting Team results

Posted on: May 2, 2019
BOE recognizes Audrey Huffman

Board honors FBLA student

Posted on: April 26, 2019
RPHS SoM April

RPHS honors Students of the Month

Posted on: April 24, 2019
Election ballot graphic cropped

Election results

Posted on: April 2, 2019
Kindergarten Roundup

Kindergarten Roundup is March 27

Posted on: February 25, 2019
Miles Sellami at March 25 2019 BOE meeting

Board honors spelling champion

Posted on: March 26, 2019
IMG_5455

Congresswoman Hartzler visits Ray-Pec

Posted on: March 15, 2019
pi day

Happy Pi Day!

Posted on: March 14, 2019
summer-school-logo

Summer School planning is under way

Posted on: March 8, 2019
BOE recognition Aubri

School Board honors volleyball coach

Posted on: March 4, 2019
Bridle Ridge Mustang Team

Bridle Ridge students learn about empathy

Posted on: February 20, 2019