Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Remembering a Favorite Teacher

I've mentioned once or twice that I was part of the auxiliary unit of my High School Marching Band. I was in Tall Flags and I'm still best friends with one of the girls from our unit.
Photo from Victorville Christmas Parade 1984.

On December 27, our band director, Mr. Robert Nygaard, died. I've thought about him so many times in the past 20+ years. He was that beloved teacher who pushed you beyond your limits and the rewards were worth it. Because of his direction, we worked at being the best and took pride in our accomplishments. When we failed to perform, he did not sugar coat the discipline. But we were the greatest (subjective of course, but backed by lots of trophies!hee)band in our division (AA) and won not just 1st Place trophies over and over again, but Sweepstakes, consistently, year after year.

I have lots and lots of favorite memories, but this one stands out because I remember how proud I was after I overhead it. We were at a field competition, just marching from our buses to the field and I overheard a woman telling her husband "Their band is huge! I thought Apple Valley was a small desert town." We made a big impression to those who never heard of us. We were the biggest competition for the other bands who tried to follow our lead.

There's been an amazing rally of people on Facebook getting back in touch and remembering the great times we had and the amazing values Mr. Nygaard instilled in us. Our closest friends in high school of course were part of the band. But inevitably almost all of us lost contact with each other. But Mr. Nygaard is still bringing us together, like the family that we were.

This one is from the Apple Valley Pow Wow Days Parade.

There have been so many great photos and videos that people are sharing on Facebook. Watching some of the videos made me bawl like a baby. Especially the one with the performance of "Only Time Will Tell". I still get goosebumps whenever I hear that song. Unfortunately, that video is only on FB, but here are a few from Youtube that I found:

Here's one from a parade in Chino. Let's see if you can spot me. LOL! It's probably impossible because the video is grainy, remember that was 1986. But I can pick out my BFF cuz she's tall and was always front and center. This year, I was usually on the left, 3rd row, but really, it's impossible to tell which one is me.

I wish I could find a video of a field competition from my, eh hem...era. But here's one from 1990, still under Mr. Nygaard's direction.

And another one from the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1990. We were invited to this parade every year. Good times, good times. You'll see Mr. Nygaard marching in his suit lookin' all serious next to the band. What a man.
Part 1:

Part 2:



Anonymous said...

is that your footage from '86!? thats so cool! You inspired me to join tall flags my freshmen year. -v

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful tribute and I loved seeing the videos. You guys were (are) impressive.

rosemary said...

Wow....great video....who filmed the one with you in it? what super memories.