When I first came to teach in this city a friend took me to a high school football game. Having just graduated from a university I had seen many a halftime show at football games during my four years in college.
However, this halftime show surprised me. A band appeared on the football field running and moving their white gloved hands in a vertical fashion. The spectators rose and loudly cheered. I, too, became excited.
A voice on the loudspeaker wailed, “The Miller High School Buccaneer Band.”
More cheers. The band performed and the crowd yelled and clapped enthusiastically.
I asked about this band, and that was when I first hear the name Eddie Galvan, the band director at Miller High.
Years later I heard his name again in the form of testimonies: A young man told me, “I was going down the wrong path when I was in high school. Mr. Galvan took me aside and told me to join the band. That was when I straightened out my life.”
A grandmother told me, “He was our musical father. He took us-many students didn’t have much-and he told us if we worked hard, we could win contests and earn awards. We believed him and it happened. I can’t even put it into words.”
I also heard the following terms: “teamwork; working hard; aiming high; we were a family.” What I was hearing was that Eddie Galvan, through his role as a band director, was teaching life skills, attitudes, and approaches that would help them succeed in the future.
Unbeknownst to us, the spectators, Eddie Galvan was doing much more than entertaining us. He was preparing the marching students for life. Thus his influence will never end.