Centralia Fireside Guard

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Centralia’s Mathews works to bring students to music

Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 9:04 pm

“Wayona wayona way…”

The words came from 50 or so third grade throats.

Mathews getting a post-show hug from Emily Hayden, one of her performers.

And the mind of their vocal music teacher, Danelle Mathews, in the middle of a three-week, three-grade, three-musical, production and performance schedule.

Mathews, a former bank officer, is in the middle of her 12th year as an educator and said she is “exactly where God wanted me to be.”

Music has been a life-long passion for Mathews.

“I started learning piano when I was three,” the life-long Centralia resident said of her introduction to formal playing by another Centralian, Joan Finlay.

“She couldn’t formally teach me until I was five, but she gave me my first music book at three, a book of Christmas songs,” Mathews said. “My mother taught me for two years putting a double-stack of books on the piano bench so I could reach the keys.”

It was the normal thing to do in her family, she said.

Third grade students in one of Mathews’ recent programs.

“We were one of those families, that when we got together, out came the guitar, the banjo, the harmonica and the songs,” Mathews said. “That included the extended family… I grew up loving music and loving children.”

For more, see next week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.