Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of columns.
We’re checking up on “retired” music educators and their activities. Last time the reports were for West Liberty-Salem,
Triad and Northeastern. Today, we visit with Mechanicsburg and Graham Schools’ retirees. You’ll find again that the music does continue for a lifetime!
Colvin Bear has organized and plays in the “The Valley Horns,” a Horn Quartet that plays many “gigs” throughout the Dayton and Springfield area. He continues his teaching at Wittenberg University, and performing on French Horn in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as the Legislative Chairman for the Champaign County Retired Teachers Association.
Karen Hayden, like Colvin, has continued her long commitment to performance, playing clarinet in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the West Central Ohio Community Concert Band. She also sings in the Urbana United Methodist Church Choir. Penny Berlin began her teaching career at Mechanicsburg, and Jacquelyn Howell also spent much of her early music directing years there. However, we will “catch up” with them in our Part III column.
Moving on to the Graham former music teachers:
Ruth Hunsberger is still performing on accordion and piano, especially at the Senior Center in Urbana and various retirement facilities. She is on the Faith and Worship Team at the River of Life Church, where she sings and offers her musical skills. Ruth serves as vice president of the Champaign County Retired teachers Teachers Association. She participates in mission efforts, which sometimes fits nicely into her love of motorcycling.
Allen Wilbur has continued as Choir Director at the First Presbyterian Church, in Urbana, and teaches private piano lessons. He enjoys travel, and has developed a passion for bicycling, including participating in many large group events.
Dawn Allen has not retired, but has left the music teaching field. She still teaches woodwinds at Hometown Music in Urbana, and plays her flute for special events, particularly at the Springfield Masonic Home. She is now an Associate Professor in Food Service at Sinclair College in Dayton. It has just been announced that she will direct an Athletic Band at the College. This is a new position at Sinclair.
We come to Jeff Buell, retired from directing the Graham “Dancin’ Band from Falconland.” He spoke to me of enjoying golf, participating in two out-of-state tournaments, and working at Dick’s in the golfers’ department.
He, like Dawn, continues teaching band instrument lessons at Hometown Music.
He certainly enjoys performing on trumpet with his daughters – Bailey on trumpet and Ava on trombone.
Just as I was writing this, the news came to my Facebook: Graham High School’s band director, Justin Cooper, resigned unexpectedly, with only a short time until Band Camp! Buell will come out of retirement to lead the band for one more year!
More news of our Champaign County retired music educators coming up in Part III!
Jan Ebert is a retired music educator in Champaign County.