Music teacher Honored by Former Students

It’s late August in the quiet town of Verona. You walk outside your house and you can’t help but hear the distant thunder of drums and the quiet melody of other various instruments. What is that? You ask yourself. Band Camp. That sweet melody is coming from the VHS parking lot in a week-long event known as Band Camp. This is one of the many successful music events lead by band director Erik Lynch.

“I don’t think it’s possible to imagine Mr. Lynch without music,” said senior Kristin Visentin. None of his students can. Mr. Lynch has been the mastermind behind the majority of the music VHS has witnessed over the last 11 years of his career here. Whether it is the annual band festival, half time shows, or countless band concerts, Mr. Lynch eats, drinks, and breathes VHS music. He cites this year’s invitation of the VHS Concert Band to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall as one of his proudest moments.

“I am one of the few teachers who has students for all four years,” said Mr. Lynch. “It’s really enjoyable seeing the kids come in as scared 13-year olds and leave as almost adult 17 or 18 year olds.”

Recently Mr. Lynch was recognized by a group of people bigger than the music program parents. He was honored with a nomination for the Grammy’s Music Educator Award.  Though he was ultimately not among the ten national finalists who are recognized for their “remarkable impact,”according to the Grammy’s website, he still is quite proud of the honor, especially considering its source.

“What makes this even better is that two [former] students nominated me,” said Mr. Lynch. He says he has been nominated for two former awards along the lines of this but nothing on the Grammy level. His excitement about being nominated, by Anthony Streifer and Canberg Oguz, was easy to see as soon as he started talking about it.   Though he recently heard back from the Grammys and found out his dream of being the one chosen out of the ten finalists to receive a $10,000 honorarium and be flown to the Grammys ceremony will not come true this time,  there may be another chance some day.