SCHOOL OF ROCK

NEW PALESTINE — By day, Craig Moore is the dean of students and athletics director at Doe Creek Middle School.

But once school is out, it’s time to rock ’n’ roll.

Moore, 38, of Greenfield, enjoys a hobby that connects him in a unique way to his young charges. He’s lead singer of a rock band, Craig B. Moore & The Invaders.

The group recently released its debut album, “Life Matters.” The 12-track collection is full of Moore’s original songs inspired by real life events.

“It’s all about real life,” Moore said.

It took Moore and his fellow band members nearly a year to complete the project. They officially debuted the music during a live show Feb. 6.

“Performing the music live, there really is no other feeling like it,” Moore said. “It really is my number one passion.”

While he went into the project thinking it would be something fun to do, once the band got deeper into recording the music, Moore said, he began to feel differently about things. He said they all realized the band had a chance to create a really good album.

“My realistic goal is for someone in the music industry to have an interest in this,” Moore said.

To be able to write music and perform in front of a crowd for a living “would be the ultimate for me,” he said.

Still, Moore is realistic and said he likes to think of himself as an educator first who just happens to love music. However, he admits music is such a large part of who he is that the topic often comes up when he’s dealing with students.

“They kind of go hand in hand for me,” Moore said. “It’s a great way for me to connect with kids. … There aren’t many kids who don’t like music.”

Moore’s love of music began when he was a student at Rushville High School. He said student athletes were required to take part in choir. At the University of Indianapolis, his roommate, Tom Baumgardner, taught him to play the guitar.

Years later, the two got back together to collaborate. Baumgardner produced the CD and doubles as the band’s lead guitarist. He, too, has high hopes for the group’s success.

“I believe the sky’s the limit on this project,” Baumgardner said. “There is some pretty passionate music in there.”

Moore’s wife of 13 years, Misty, said her husband developed a foundation for his music when they moved to Chicago after college. They lived there for five years to give Moore a chance to play on a regular basis.

“It was exciting and kind of exhilarating for us back then,” Misty Moore said.

It’s was Moore’s music that reconnected the couple after they parted ways at Rushville. While they had dated during high school, they broke up and only got back together during their senior year in college, when Moore asked her to a show.

“I was pretty impressed,” she said.

Moore ended up writing a song on his new album about his wife called “She Makes Things Alright.”

The couple moved back to Hancock County in 2003, and Moore pursed a career in education. Still, his wife said he never gave up his desire to write and perform music.

“Every time we’ve gone through a major life experience, he’ll write about it,” she said. “I’ve seen how he can affect people with his music, and that has always been the case.”

Moore plays and sings at Fountaintown Christian Church, where the whole family, including son Drake and daughter Kendra, attend on a regular basis.

Moore’s colleagues take pride in his hobby. Officials at Doe Creek Middle School dedicated Feb. 5 as “Rockstar Craig B. Moore Day” to honor the day his album was released.

“The kids think it is very cool that Doe Creek has a staff member that has an album on iTunes,” Principal Jim Voelz said.

Moore says that is one of the reasons he keeps playing and pursing the dream of being a professional musician. He knows students are watching.

“I think if kids see me expressing myself through my music, they might want to do the same,” he said.

At a glance

“Life Matters” is available online at cdbaby.com for $11.99 or through Facebook.

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Kristy Deer is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3262 or kdeer@greenfieldreporter.com.