“He was just always so hyped for music even at 8am in the morning and I just loved that about him.
Former Student – George Stevens Academy – Class of 2004
Instrument: Flute, and steel drums
Describe how music has impacted your life.
I started playing the flute in 4th grade and played straight through until my senior year. Music for me gave me confidence, a sense of belonging, and an escape from the craziness of life. Music is still that for me, music makes you feel and takes you places in your mind, music is emotional.
Describe your connection to Mr. O
Mr. O was my teacher all through high school. I also had the pleasure of having his wife as my pan teacher and they are the most lovely opposite couple I have ever met in my life. Mr. O believes in every one of his students so fiercely he makes you believe in yourself. He gets you so pumped up like “ya I can totally rock these very intimidating 4 pages of music!” And then you do because he doesn’t quit until you get it right. Music was my whole life I growing up I basically lived the band room. Mr. O is the most memorable teacher I have ever had. Even at all states where he took a bit of a back seat to instructing he was right there cheering us all on. I had a mom who forgot me a lot lol! She was just an overwhelmed single mom with 3 kids, anyways back in the day we didn’t have cell phones and Mr. O knew my mom usually forgot me if I had to stay after for band or drama or a basketball game and he’d always make sure his office was open so I could use his phone to call my forgetful mother. That’s just the kind of teacher he is. He cares about his band as a whole but he really cares about the individual student as well, and I just loved him for that.
Describe Mr. O in three words.
Passionate, loyal, and a little crazy in the best way possible!
What is your most memorable story involving Mr. O?
Gosh there’s so many… He used to come in all hopped up on coffee, according to Mrs. O it was the kind that would “put hair on your chest” which made a lot of sense lol! Band was first period and most of us were half awake so getting going took a few. And if you played the piece wrong which usual happened early on in the class, he’d start kind of bending and spinning his baton in both hands and jumping around, and go “come on guys.” He was just always so hyped for music even at 8am in the morning and I just loved that about him. That’s my favorite memory of him with his baton in both hands jumping around urging us to do better, until we were.
If you could ask Mr. O any question, what would it be?
I would ask him what he personally wants his legacy to be?
Favorite Mr. O quote or phrase:
I honestly can’t remember because there was always so many random things coming out of his mouth. One minute you’d be playing the next he’d be giving you some analogy comparing puppy’s to kittens that made no sense but also made perfect sense lol! If that makes sense 🤔