Dear Jeff Band Family,
How can I ever thank all of you enough for all of the events of the past couple of weeks? It has been just unbelievable! From the Music in May concert, where overwhelmingly kind words were expressed by so many, to the over-the-top gift from the Boosters, to the surprise performances by the Jazz Combo, Alumni Band and the Orchestra at the end, I will never forget that night. Thank you to Sheila Klinker for the kind words and recognition. To all the people behind the scenes who in some way organized and made everything work so well- my heartfelt thanks. I would like to express my sincere thanks to my dear friend, Jana, who as always, pulled off the impossible with her usual expertise and professionalism. To my wonderful family who came from near and far to celebrate, to my daughter’s beautiful speech that made her Dad very proud, to all of my grandkids that were present, and especially to Debbie who held me up all week long (maybe I should say for 40 yearsJ ) – my eternal thanks. To the band and orchestra staff and all Jeff Band students, thank you for this night to remember. You created some beautiful music for me to cherish forever. To my “last” senior class, thank you for allowing me to share this night with you. I wish all of you the best as you go into the next chapter of your life. The class of 2017 was a special group of young people. I can’t tell you how great it was to see so many alumni band kids come back and play together. That was simply the best gift. To my dear friends that played in the orchestra organized by Janet Priest—oh my – a lifelong dream happened- I have always wanted to do this piece. I would especially like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Paulson and their children for coming down and being there as he took the stage with his new band. I am so excited for the future with Mr. Paulson in charge, and I know this incredible band family will welcome and support him just as you have done for me all these years. He is going to be great for this band and our Jeff Band family!! Mr. Paulson will be in town next week, and I am sure he will let everyone know of his plans and his contact information. In the meantime, if you have a question, I would call and leave a message on Mrs. Reinhart’s or Mr. Knepper’s voice mail.
The reception this past weekend was so kind and thoughtful. To be able to see so many friends from years, and I mean years ago, come for the event was just phenomenal. To my old Tri-County kids (yes, I said old… some of you are just right behind me!!!), to all of my Jeff kids from way back to the present, you all made this guy smile from ear to ear.. and yes, occasionally tear up. It was so fun hearing of old stories and seeing your kids, old band pictures, and jackets! I know some of you traveled so far to see me and that was such a kind expression to my family and me. To the current fantastic and dedicated Booster officers, former Band Booster officers and everyone that had a part in the event, especially Debbie and Jana….. thank you all so very much. You are just an incredible group of people.
This will be my last official message on the Jeff Bands Facebook and website and I send it with many thanks for the years of time together, the wonderful memories, lifelong friends, great music, incredibly hard work by students and parents, and the love that has been given to the entire Barker family. Go be GREAT!!
Go Jeff Band!!
and yes I am on Facebook now…(yep don’t laugh!)