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Steve Orlofsky Honored

June 4, 2012

Maine Music Educators Association

I know that some of you attended the Thursday night banquet at the Maine Music Educators Conference this past month at UMaine when Steve Orlofsky was surprised. No, I would say Steve was more than surprised, shocked is a better word to describe it! Head of School from George Stevens Academy, Paul Perkinson, presented the MMEA award to Steve before a room of his peers on May 17th.

The presentation included the following sentiments from a student of Steve’s:

“Never have I seen a man so infused with energy, so passionate about music, and so in tune with his students as Steve Orlofsky, the music director at George Stevens Academy. The man is a veritable force of nature, fueled by a vat of coffee, constantly moving. I am fairly certain he could win a trophy at a speed walking competition.

And I am totally certain that he could win a trophy at a music competition. He has done it before. Multiple times, actually. In my three years at GSA, I can not remember one in which a GSA musical group did not win first place at the District or State Jazz Fest, and the trophies and banners speak for the years before me. If it were possible to win trophies fro playing at basketball games, those would be won as well. I have head referees who claim to have heard dozens of school bands while refereeing across the state, and they all say that the GSA Band are the best. And we are the best, thanks to Mr. O.

We all know the iconic image of him counting off, and then becoming distracted by somethinghe wants to tell us and forgetting his conducting hand, so that he will be telling us something, and his baton will still be unconsciously counting out a steady beat. We always have a good laugh when it happens. We learn many things in band besides music, such as how to avoid a moose on the side of the road, how to find the best dog at a kennel (Mr. O keeps us up to date with the cutest dogs at the local animal shelter), what to buy your wife on Valentine’s Day, and much more. And he always tells us stories. When he was 10 years old, his teacher asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up, and he said, “I want to be a high school band teacher.” The teacher had looked at him as if he were crazy, but he stuck to his dream, and here it is, years later, doing the thing he has wanted to do since he was a kid.

I have improved in my skills on the drum set, the piano, and in my general undersatnding of music and its flow while with Mr. O, and I’ve had fun the entire time. I’ve played stuff from the Rolling Stones to Duke Ellington and everything in between. I think it was best put into words a while by Aaron, my fellow percussionist in the school band. The subjet of classes came up, and I asked him which one he liked the most. He said, “Dude! Band!”.

CONGRATULATIONS STEVE!

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