Please allow me to take this opportunity to thank the parents of Columbia County for allowing me to work with their sons and daughters for the past 20 years of my 35-year teaching career. In that time span, I saw the Evans High School band program grow from 21students to 310. I also saw the growth of Columbia County with the addition of two new high schools. We always took pride in the two new schools because we knew that they grew out of Evans High, the flagship of Columbia County schools.
My thanks go out to Ray Hicks for bringing me to Evans High. He recognized the potential growth of the band program there, and supported me every step of the way to help the program grow. Tucker Vaughn and his successor, Tommy Price, along with the Columbia County Board of Education especially Mildred Blackburn supported our program and helped it grow, and I thank them for their support.
Many thanks, also, to Jonnie Ghetti, who was instrumental in getting many things that our band programs needed. I have had the pleasure of working with many fine principals since Hicks retired several years ago. Gene Sullivan, Sandra Driscoll and Don Brigdon have all been very supportive and helpful to the Evans Band.
I also would like to thank the Evans High School Band Boosters Association. There is not a finer group of parents and friends that one could hope to work with anywhere. These parents and friends have supported the band program at Evans with many, many hours of hard work and dedication. With their help we were able to attain many goals, including building one of the finest band room facilities in the CSRA.
My thanks also to the faculty, administration and staff of Evans High for their continued support. Many thanks to our middle school band directors that we have had over the years: Jerry McClintock, Gail Jarrell, Reid Hall, Katie Bennett, Kevin Baggott and Justin Whitford. The fine teaching that they did in the middle schools made my job much easier at the high school.
I would like to thank the editor and staff of The Columbia County News-Times and The Augusta Chronicle. Reaching our goals was very gratifying, but you allowed us to share those accomplishments with the community.
I hope that the accomplishments of the Evans High School band program have made the people of Columbia County proud. The Evans Band brought local, national and international recognition to our area. I know that there will be many more accomplishments by the Evans band while under the leadership of their new director, Reid Hall.
I plan to continue to support the Evans program, and all the band programs in Columbia County. My hope is that the community will continue to see the importance of fine arts in our schools, and that they will also continue to support all of the bands in Columbia County.
Thank you again, for 20 wonderful years.
(Richard Brasco retired in June as a Columbia County teacher and director of the Evans High School band.)
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