M-CHS’ Clappe seeks to inspire future performers of fine art – The Journal
Montezuma-Cortez High School senior Zayne Clappe is joined by family, teachers and friends as he signs his letter of intent to attend Colorado State University to join their music education program. (Courtesy picture)
Panthers drum major to continue musical studies at Colorado State University
The passion for music has been part of Zayne Clappe’s life since he was just a child. Now he wants to share that same excitement with future generations.
High schooler Montezuma-Cortez has been accepted into Colorado State University’s music education program, where Clappe will learn to share his sense of fine art with other budding musical talents.
During his four years at M-CHS, Clappe earned a number of high-profile accolades among his various disciplines, including being named to the Colorado All-State Choir.
While Clappe’s love of music and acting was fueled by countless sources during his formative years, he credits his grandfather for guiding him in direction. “He was always a big believer in everything I wanted to be,” Clappe said of his mentor.
Under band manager Alex Mohr and Clappe as drum major, the Panthers earned second place in the Western Slope regional competition and advanced to perform in the CSU-Pueblo Thunderbowl at the state championships. . Playing their “Portrait of the Motherland” production, the Panthers captured seventh place overall with a season-best performance.
However, these are not the locations and trophies that Clappe will remember most fondly. “I enjoyed the family that music offers,” Clappe said of his experience at M-CHS. “There’s nothing quite like going on a journey together and developing those bonds with each other.”
“All of my teachers gave me the resources to help me grow as a musician,” Clappe added, “and they were there for every question I had to ask.”
The M-CHS eldest also made his mark on the auditorium floor Ralph Vavak, providing leadership and laughs to fellow comedians and spectators. Clappe starred as the male lead, playing Bert from Mary Poppins, triumphantly bringing live theater back to M-CHS after postponements and cancellations hampered previous years of Panther performances.
Although his second role as Lazar Wolf in fiddler on the roof came to an abrupt halt at the start of the pandemic, Clappe considers this production to be one of his favorites. “I don’t know if this experience would have been any different if it hadn’t been canceled,” Clappe said. “This group of performers continue to be some of my best friends, and the fun we had putting together this performance – there’s nothing better.”
The idea that music and theater are full of imperfection is something Clappe not only embraces, but encourages others to enjoy as well. “It’s okay to enjoy something and not be the best,” Clappe said. “It is so important to appreciate the fine arts for the pleasure of making them.”
Clappe joins a quartet of M-CHS seniors to win an Empire Electric Association scholarship as he prepares to travel to Fort Collins. Colorado State University’s music education program earned high marks, helping prepare future music teachers for careers in elementary and high schools.
The idea of transmitting his love for music is something that excites Clappe. “I would love to be able to teach instrumental music at the high school level,” Clappe said, “It’s been one of my ambitions since middle school.”
“As much as music has impacted my life, and as many people have influenced my love of music, I want to be that person for others.”