The newest member of the Idyllwild School faculty is music teacher William Beuche. He replaces long-time music teacher Dwight “Buzz” Holmes, who retired at the end of

William Beuche, new Idyllwild School music teacher, playing one of his piano compositions. Photo by JP Crumrine

the last school year.

While Holmes is an Idyllwild native, Beuche comes from the Palo Alto area. He has been a musician most of his life, beginning with the clarinet in middle school.

In high school, his instrumental interest became the guitar. Today, he teaches and plays the guitar — mostly classical— and ukulele.

His students are avidly requesting lessons for both instruments. He has several ukuleles on order. “They love the ukulele.”

Beuche is a 2005 graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor of Arts in music. At Santa Cruz, he also studied music composition and continues writing music today. Two years later, he entered the degree program for a Master of Music in composition at the University of California, Riverside, and was awarded the Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellowship.

He has been offering music lessons since college. He enjoys this so much, it was one of his motivations to teach in public schools. From his experience with private lessons, Beuche said he learned, “the younger students are more passionate. They are more willing to practice and excited to learn the instrument.”

Idyllwild School meets his needs with both elementary and middle school students seeking to learn about music, he said. “Preteenagers have great enthusiasm for music. The kids are so friendly.”

While classical rather than rock ’n’ roll is his guitar preference, Bueche also is a member of the Little Mountain Big Band from San Bernardino, which plays jazz favorites to pop hits such as Steely Dan and Chicago.

He is already planning a school concert for Halloween and then a holiday concert. He hopes to have several small ensembles. Eventually, he would like to resurrect a choir at the school. In the spring, he is looking forward to working with Heather Reba, of the Idyllwild Arts Academy music and theater faculty, on another musical stage production. There may even be a little jazz ensemble sometime in the future, he hinted.

In his opinion, one of the advantages of Idyllwild School is its small size. “It is a lot easier to get to know each kid and their keen passion of music,” Bueche said. “I start with simple melodies and move on.”

He is very impressed with the students’ interest in all aspects of music. “I see them dancing around; I may do some choreography, too.”

Bueche is at Idyllwild School Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Wednesdays, he is at Bautista Creek. He teaches general music to the kindergarten through third-grade students. In fourth and fifth grades, students can begin to learn instruments and almost any band instrument is available, he said.