Airs Thursday, July 11th at 8:00pm on WTVP-HD 47.1,
and encores Friday, July 12th at 9:30pm and Sunday, July 14th at 4:00pm.
- Award-winning Ottawa Township Music Teacher Celebrated in New Documentary Created
by Former Students -
Roger Amm – A True Guiding Star
In March, former students of Ottawa Township High School (OTHS) Choir Director Roger
Amm traveled from points around the country to return to their alma mater in central LaSalle County,
Illinois, for one last performance to pay tribute to a man many say is an inspiration, and hero,
in their lives.
Unknown to Mr. Amm, in the months before, hundreds of those former and current choir
students secretly rehearsed a piece of music commissioned specifically for him by his colleague, OTHS
Band Director Sarah Reckmeyer.
As film cameras rolled, students reunited and filled the school auditorium in an
emotionally charged moment to perform “Something of Love” written and arranged by composer
Joseph M. Martin.
The surprise performance comes at the end of Roger Amm’s 33-year teaching career, which
began in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1980. After one year there, Amm accepted a position in Ottawa, Illinois,
a place he has called home ever since.
During Roger Amm’s tenure as choir director at OTHS, the music department has placed in
the top ten of all Illinois High School Association (IHSA) affiliated schools, earning 18 IHSA State
Championships. The OTHS Music Department now has the second most successful music program in IHSA
The documentary Something of Love: A Tribute to Roger Amm – written,
produced, directed, and edited by journalist Kane Farabaugh, one of Roger Amm’s former students
and a 1995 graduate of OTHS – highlights Roger Amm’s career, and explores the love his students
and colleagues share for him. It is executive produced by Nathalie Schmidt, also one of Amm’s
former students, and is produced in co-operation with the OTHS Educational Foundation.
The half-hour long production takes viewers inside the halls of OTHS and gives a
behind the scenes look at Roger Amm’s classroom, and how the experience is a motivating factor
in many young lives. In interviews with his students, colleagues, and administrators, this
documentary weaves a narrative that explores the mountains and valleys of Roger Amm’s personal
and public life, and how his own struggles became lessons in life through music for his students.
In May, Roger Amm was named the “2013 Educator of the Year” by the LaSalle County
Regional Office of Education. In remarks to his fellow educators at the awards banquet, he
emphasized his career as a teacher “was my mission, not my job.”
Something of Love: A Tribute to Roger Amm is the story of how he
accomplished that mission, and the lasting impact of his instruction on his students, colleagues,
and community. The program will air on WTVP-HD 47.1 Thursday, July 11th at 8:00pm, with encores Friday,
July 12th at 9:30pm and Sunday, July 14th at 4:00pm.
Written by Kane Farabaugh
For further information contact Linda Miller, WTVP Vice President of
at (309) 495-0591 or firstname.lastname@example.org