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Hannah Billings

“He was trying to mimic how happy we made his heart and the how quickly it was beating in reaction to our success by beating his baton on his chest through his shirt. He suddenly screamed “OUCH!”, and pulled his baton out, inspected the tip of it very thoroughly and said in shock, “Would you look at that! I plucked out a hair!”

Former Student – George Stevens Academy – Class of 2012

Instrument: Alto and tenor saxophone

Describe how music has impacted your life.
My life has been intertwined with music for as long as I can remember. I had an uncle who was in a band, my grandmother sang in the local choir, the church, and was in multiple performances at the Grand Theatre in Ellsworth, my dad was a former student of Mr. O’s, and I have had cousins as well who were involved in music. My very first memory of Mr. O was the summer between 4th and 5th grade at the summer jazz camp he offered. I had just started to learn how to play the alto sax, and he looked at me one day and said, “You have too much personality to play a puny instrument. Let’s try a tenor!” At that moment I didn’t know whether to be scared or excited but regardless, I knew that I wanted him to continue to be my teacher.

Describe your connection to Mr. O
Mr. O was my band and jazz combo teacher. Band was very easily my favorite class all throughout high school. He made coming to school enjoyable, exciting, and most definitely interesting. His goofy catch phrases, how excited he gets over newly knitted socks, and his dance moves always made you think twice about how much sugar he’s put in his coffee that morning, but also never failed to make you smile.

Describe Mr. O in three words.
Energetic, brilliant, colorful

What is your most memorable story involving Mr. O?
One of my favorite memories of him was one day during band class my junior year. The altos and tenors had just nailed a section in Frankenstein, and it was the freshman’s first time really playing the piece from start to finish. He was trying to mimic how happy we made his heart and the how quickly it was beating in reaction to our success by beating his baton on his chest through his shirt. He suddenly screamed “OUCH!”, and pulled his baton out, inspected the tip of it very thoroughly and said in shock, “Would you look at that! I plucked out a hair!” The whole room burst out into laughter, and he joined right in with us. No matter what kind of day we were having, Mr. O never failed to put a smile on our faces.

If you could ask Mr. O any question, what would it be?
If you could go back in time and relive any moment throughout your teaching career; what would it be?

Favorite Mr. O quote or phrase:
Friggen A Man

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