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Gardner-South Wilmington High School

Alumni Hall Of Fame


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When Mrs. Avery called and told me about tonight’s event, to say I was surprised
would be a great understatement! She asked me to write a GSW biography stating
what I had for GSW—not AT GSW, but FOR GSW. That’s a big difference!
I started as part-time chorus director at GSW in 1977, and when well-loved Band
Director Joe Riggi retired in 1985, I had the opportunity to become the GSW Band
Director, Chorus Director, and GSW Beginning Band teacher.
The GSW Band played two concerts a year, marched in the Dwight and Morris
parades, and played at all of the boys’ home basketball games and some of the girls’
home games. As the chorus grew in numbers, it sang the National Anthem at the girls’
home basketball games and participated in the IHSA contests.
This is where the FOR GSW comes into play!
It has always been my belief that being part of a performing group,
togetherness and camaraderie of the students is imperative to success. Not everyone
can be an accomplished soloist, but everyone--yes, everyone-- is able to contribute to
the best of their ability, and it was my responsibility to help that happen. Each member
was grateful for the contribution of the others. The performances give every member a
feeling of pride in being part of a group that garners the appreciation from each other
and the audience.
I retired from GSW 22 years ago and am still very proud of GSW. It is my
hope that when you hear the GSW musical groups perform or watch them march by,
you can proudly say, “That is OUR chorus,” and ”That is OUR band!”