BONSALL – During the first all-district staff meeting of the 2023-24 term, Stacy Pecore was recognized for teaching music in the Bonsall Unified School District for 25 years. Her Show Choir and Guitar classes are legendary with her students and their families.
Principal Angela James said, "When I first came to Sullivan Middle School two years ago, I was blown away by the dedication and heart of all the teachers at Bonsall Unified. They truly go above and beyond for each student, but in Mrs. Pecore's case, she goes the extra marathon for all her students allowing for real-world experiences such as performances at Petco Park to competitions in Los Angeles! She guides and encourages her students to find their voice and confidence. Mrs. Pecore is not just a gem for Sullivan Middle School but a diamond for Bonsall Unified."
Pecore was born to perform. "Everyone in my family was a classically trained, professional musician, or singer. It was everywhere. Opera singers rehearsing in my living room was just normal. So naturally, I started playing the piano when I was five years old. It was just natural."
Pecore took her passion for music and built the Bonsall Music and Choral program from the ground up. She looked to her passions to decide which classes to create.
"When I started 25 years ago, the Show Choir was just starting to take off." Pecore explained that the Show Choir lets her students play and create. "It's as much theater as vocals. The Show Choir engages their imagination with costumes, choreography. Students want to pretend, move, and create. They want to sing and act – let me get that child out of the chair. And then you'll see what they can do!"
Pecore's primary goal is to bestow the gift of music appreciation to all students. In guitars and choir, her students perform everything from classical music and standards to pop and show tunes.
Sitting behind her keyboard in her music room, packed with trophies from floor to ceiling, Pecore mused, "Music is a reflection of our shared history. I want students to know that history, for it to inform them when they are enjoying their favorite artists on Spotify and Apple Music. It's all connected, and when they see that, it stays with them for life."
BUSD's "Art for All" program has introduced music instruction for every child in TK-8th grade, as well as performance opportunities in theater/musical theater at the high school. There is also a music appreciation course students can take through BHS's early college program at Palomar.
As Bonsall Unified grows, so does its arts program. "It is amazing to be part of a district that places such a high value on Fine and Performing Arts," said Jen Arellano, BHS theater director. "And BUSD is lucky to have such a rare talent as Stacy Pecore. She's not only a friend, but a mentor."
The community can catch Pecore's classes performing at events throughout the school year. The groups also compete regularly against Show Choir and Music groups across California. One highlight from last year's competition schedule was at the famed, "Music in the Park" competition.
All three of Sullivan Middle School's competitive groups (two shows and one guitar) were awarded a superior rating of 92-96. The Show Choir also took the "Sweepstakes" honor for the highest points in the competition, regardless of genre. There's no doubt that Sullivan Middle School students have won the grand prize by being in Pecore's class.