A great loss

This is not related to travelling or crafts, but it is nonetheless extremely important to me.

My boyfriend and the UMass Marching Band are on their way to Michigan to play at a football game. They stayed at a high school in Ohio as they make their way over there by bus.

At about 12:30am, they got word that their band director, Mr. George N Parks had suffered a heart attack that afternoon and did not make it.

This man shaped the band into what it is today. With him, it grew from 15 members to almost 400. He has directly influenced every single person in the band, and he has made them all better for it. His influence was great, that when announcement came for a building just for band on campus, it was unanimously decided that it should be named for him.

In addition to marching band, he also ran Drum Major Academy during the summers. He traveled throughout the US to train high school drum majors to be the best of the best. Many of the drum majors at UMass had attended DMA with him. He is a wonder to all who knew him, and all who had ever heard of him.

He was not only the director of the band, he was, and still is, the band. He was a great man with a great personality and he will be sorely missed.

Mrs. Parks has asked the band to continue on to Michigan to play at the game tomorrow night. They stayed in a high school gym overnight, and this morning, the high school band had a parade for them. Their band director had been in DMA with Mr. Parks and was also deeply affected by this loss.

This was posted on our University website, and it really shows what kind of a man Mr. Parks was. He was important not only to our band, but also to bands and individuals around the nation. Please take the time to read it so that you can know just how much he will be missed.

I was never in a marching band, but I have spent a lot of time with our University Band and I know, personally just how kind and welcoming he was. It was because of him that I was allowed to go to Ireland with the band last year, and while there he treated me as if I were a part of the band. He was a truly great man.

www.umass.edu/newsoffice/newsreleases/articles/111065.php
www.drummajor.org/index.php?page=about
www.umass.edu/band/about/gnp.html

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