Making Room For Music Makers

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By Liz Premo, Atlantic News Staff Writer

Atlantic News, Friday, August 4, 2006

[The following article is courtesy of Atlantic News]

NEAT PROJECT -- Hampton Boy Scout Kenon Fachon is pictured here at the United Methodist Church, in the music room he organized and modified as part of his Eagle Scout project. [Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]

HAMPTON -- The music department at the United Methodist Church in Hampton is making "a joyful noise unto the Lord" these days, in appreciation for a transformation that's been taking place within those hallowed halls.

The source of their joy? The Frank Mossman Memorial Music Room on the main level of the church has been receiving some much-needed attention, thanks to Kenon Fachon, a member of Hampton Boy Scout Troop #176 and an incoming senior at Winnacunnet High School.

Kenon selected the choir room to serve as the site of his Eagle Scout project; two other considerations were landscaping a portion of the church grounds and organizing the files of the church trustees.

After consulting with various members of church leadership, Kenon opted for the oft-utilized music room, which was in urgent need of organization as well as updating.

"The entire music department for the church uses this room," Kenon says, listing the choir, the bell choir and the Church Notes band as the immediate beneficiaries of his efforts.

The church connection is a personal one for this 17-year-old honors student, who aspires to a career as an electrical mechanical engineer specializing in robotics.

TOP DRAWER -- Hampton Boy Scout Kenon Fachon displays the storage drawer he constructed for the bell choir as part of a wood cabinet in the music room at his church.
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]

"I decided early on I wanted to do something for the church," explains Kenon, who says he has been attending "for as long as I can remember." Not only does the church sponsor the troop but it provides a space for their regular meetings as well.

In putting his Eagle Scout project together (beginning in late 2004), Kenon had to complete a number of steps before actually receiving the official go-ahead from the Daniel Webster Boy Scout Council.

"There's a really long line of approval [to follow]," he says. In addition to coming up with the three initial project possibilities and deciding upon a final one, potential Eagle Scouts have to write up a detailed plan listing a rough timeline, materials needed, who's helping, and project "blueprints."

"I had to say exactly what I was going to do," says Kenon, who received input from Music Director Bob Howard as well as from choir members.

After his plans were completed, he had to connect with Frank Foisey of the council's Historic District. Following a scheduled visit to the church and a look at the music room, "Frank decided it was a good plan," Kenon says. "He signed [it] off for me and at that point (spring 2005) I was able to start the project."

The most urgent need, says Kenon, was "to try to make the most of the space in here, and make things safe." This was particularly essential due to the number of individuals (25-30) who may be in the room at any given time, and the large volume of sheet music that is stored there.

One of the first things Kenon did was to hold a yard sale to raise money in order to buy the materials he would need for the project. The church congregation helped by donating items for the sale, which he labels "a phenomenal success." About $1300 was raised at the event, held early last summer.

Kenon started his project by applying a fresh coat of paint to the interior of the music room. He replaced the original three- to four-drawer filing cabinets with a row of five-drawer ones, providing storage space inside as well as on top, where several of the instruments used by the band now sit. Kenon also converted two pairs of two-drawer legal files into side-by-side, four-drawer units for additional storage. A brand new bulletin board hangs on the freshly-painted wall.

Kenon is currently in the process of constructing a pair of wood shelving units that will be placed on either side of the room's upright piano, covering up the protruding casters and frame upon which many a toe has been stubbed. Also in the works is a wall cabinet in which to store the church's electric keyboard, "to save as much space as possible."

Perhaps the hallmark of Kenon's project are the tall, stained and varnished wood cabinets he designed specifically for housing the robes and stoles for the church choir, and the equipment for the bell choir. About 30 robes — now individually tagged with each user's name — hang neatly and numerically organized on the cabinet's crossbar. The cases that hold the bell choir's equipment are stored to the right of the robes, in a drawer that glides open effortlessly; their tables are tucked into the slots just above the drawer.

"It's important to have everything nice and organized," Kenon says, especially in a room that gets so much use on a weekly basis.

As is the case with all Eagle projects, Boy Scouts like Kenon are required to not only enlist the assistance of members of the community, but also to demonstrate leadership by delegating throughout the course of the project. An abundance of help was provided by Kenon's family (dad Eric, mom Alicia and younger sister Elise), his fellow Scouts, leaders and church members, as well as local businesses which often provided materials (in one case, about $500 worth of wood) free of charge.

"So many businesses were willing to donate," says Fachon.

Once his project is complete there will be a final visit by Frank Foisey. And, absolutely everything, from beginning to end, needs to be completely documented and organized into a final presentation and submitted to the Daniel Webster Boy Scout Council, before the status of Eagle Scout will be considered and bestowed.

"The [documenting] was a big part of the learning process," says Kenon.

A Boy Scout since he first joined as a Tiger Cub in first grade, Kenon hopes to have everything complete before the end of August and before the school year begins, when he will be busy as a member of the WHS Drama Club and the National Honor Society, in addition to serving as co-captain for the WHS Math Team. If everything goes as he hopes, he will soon be an Eagle Scout too.

In the meantime, the choir at the United Methodist Church in Hampton truly has something to sing about. And how about that aforementioned joyful noise?

"The music director is very pleased with everything," Kenon reports, "and the choir is happy to have everything organized."

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