MMS Performing Arts Teen of the Week— Ronan Diederichs

Matapeake Middle School (MMS) proudly announces Ronan Diederichs as the QACPS Performing Arts ‘Teen of the Week’.

Ronan was nominated for this honor by Mr. Chris Flaherty, Band Director at MMS as an 8th grader, and is now an incoming 9th grader at Kent Island High.

“Ronan played in the Matapeake Band, the Marching Stingrays Band, and in a new PFY Strings afterschool ensemble at MMS. Ronan has a love of music and learning and is currently studying percussion, saxophone, and violin,” said Mr. Flaherty, who has been Ronan’s music teacher for the past two years and cited his “tremendous talent and dedication”. Mr. Flaherty further states, “Ronan excels in his academics and his extracurricular activities. He is a kind, young man who has a bright future ahead of him”.

Ronan became inspired to join the Band in 6th grade by a friend who played percussion at MMS. He said he wasn’t sure which instrument to try, but chose percussion because it gave him the opportunity to play many different instruments.

Ronan has continued his interest in instruments by adding the saxophone to his skill set in 7th grade and the violin in 8th grade. He is excited about joining the band at KIHS. Ronan is looking forward to, “being able to work with a larger group” and, “playing longer and more complex pieces of music,” said Mr. Flaherty.

Ronan’s most memorable event in the band so far has been his performance in the Centreville Christmas Parade in 2022. It was his second parade and according to Ronan it was “when I really knew that I loved marching.”

Ronan states that he believes he has made most of his friends in the band and that it, “gives people an opportunity to play instruments they probably wouldn’t be able to play”, and to, “meet people they wouldn’t normally meet”. Recently Ronan stated he enjoyed playing at the MMS Spaghetti Night Fundraiser with his friends Jackie and Wesley.

Wesley Cahall, another 8th grade percussionist from the 2023 – 2024 school year, stated that Ronan is, “very good at the instruments.” Wesley also plans on joining the band at KIHS next year.

According to Ronan’s mom, Marya, “Ronan has always been the music lover in our household. He was calling out favorite songs on the radio and on TV nearly as soon as he could talk. ‘Rio’ by Duran Duran was a favorite of his as a child. When he joined the band in 6th grade, Ronan found his people, and a way to channel his talent and interest. Since then, he has jumped at opportunities to try new instruments. Ronan prides himself on not only accumulating various instruments, but also sharing them with other students. This summer, Ronan will attend the Terrapin Music Camp at UMD for the second year in a row. Our family is so proud of Ronan, not only for his musical ability and his hard work, but for the conscientious, smart, and kind person he has become.”

Ronan enjoys reading, writing, and studying history and geography. He enjoys camping and his summer plans include camping at Cherry Hill in Washington, D.C.