Bittersweet Symphony

As I’m writing this, I’m aware that many of you will likely not be reading it. I know that school has just let out, and orchestra is probably the last thing on your minds. I had been meaning to keep a blog throughout the year; to keep track of everything we’ve had going on, and to just stay in touch. But, the growing pains of our orchestra and graduate school often got in the way. In any case, it's better late than never. I’ll try to do better next year.

I’m absolutely astounded at the year we’ve had, and I couldn’t be prouder of our orchestra's hard work and growth. The orchestra at Riverdale High School is stronger than it’s ever been, and it’s thanks to all of you.

I wanted to say thank you.

Many of you are graduating this year. It’s been bittersweet because we’ve done so much. But, you seniors that are leaving will be deeply and truly missed by the people you’re leaving behind. Some of you, I’ve had the honor of knowing for half a decade or more. Seniors, many of your friends have been saddened by the fact that the orchestra will never be the same without you. But the orchestra will never be the same as it was before you left your mark either.

All of you, every single one of you students who have given pieces of yourselves to what we do here have left a permanent trace of yourself on this orchestra: a trace that will never be erased. Every one of you who have sat on my couch, or had an impromptu dance party, or played your hearts out, or broke a bow hair, or really gave your all to be your best self have left your fingerprint on this place. This orchestra program belongs to you, even after you’re gone.

The new freshmen and new seniors will leave their mark too. At the end of next year, the orchestra will change and evolve, and (again) never quite be the same. But, the traces all of you have left will never go away.

This year wraps up my 7th year as an orchestra director. I couldn’t be more proud of all of you. Here’s to another great year next year. I’ll see you in August.

We’re just getting started…

- McDaniel I feel...