KINGSFORD, Mich. (WLUC) - After 30 years, hundreds of students and concerts later, Ben Sherk is retiring from the Kingsford Band program.
Sherk stands in front of Kingsford High School. (Photo from Joanne To)
"I'm understanding now what the seniors are going through. It's almost a grieving process. It's a process of, ‘here's what was going to happen’ and all of a sudden it didn't,” said Sherk, the retiring Kingsford Band Director.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, things turned out a little differently this year. Sherk says closure and celebration has been missing, but he is thankful for his time spent with the program.
He has covered everything from elementary, to middle, to high school bands. This includes jazz, chorus, pep, marching and concert bands. He said he used this opportunity to be a mentor.
"I used music as a means to do that. It's a different philosophy. For some band directors, it's all about the music, but we produced some fantastic music,” said Sherk.
He also thanks everyone who participated in the program.
"It takes a village to run this program. It wasn't all about me. It's parent volunteers, it's student leadership,” said Sherk.
One of those leaders, a former student, who also had the opportunity to work with Sherk, is now taking over.
"What he taught me was how to be a role model, how to be a leader, and how to be just a better person. That’s my goal going forward. Music is really just the medium and what we love to do, but it's really about transferring the message,” said Logan Galindo, the current Kingsford Assistant Band Director.
A legacy in itself.
"You leave your legacy. If you didn't do it during high school, you have another chance because there's another step in life. In your family, in your community, in music. Leave that same legacy that people remember you by, positively. That's what I tried to do,” said Sherk.
Congratulations on your retirement, Mr. Sherk!
To watch the full YouTube video honoring Sherk, made by Joanne To of the Kingsford School Board, click here.