As has been documented in this space numerous times, nobody gets more love at retirement than the nation’s high school music teachers.
The latest example comes from Foxborough, Mass., where Stephen Massey is retiring after 37 years at the school, and 46 years in music education overall.
Massey was holding his band’s final Pops concert last weekend when a musical great, who’d snuck into the horn section, paid tribute to another musical great.
Massey has been bringing his school’s jazz band to the Essentially Ellington festival in New York for 17 years. It’s run by Wynton Marsalis.
“There’s kind of this simpatico communication that we have without many hours of talking to each other, just mutual respect for the things we do,” Massey said of the surprise guest, made possible by the work of his daughter. “Music is powerful, very powerful.”
We say again: The cool kids are in the band.