Dear Blackhawk Brigade Family, It is with great sadness that I announce my departure from La Quinta High School. As many of you know, my wife Laura has accepted two positions as a professor at community colleges in Orange County and Long Beach, and has been commuting each week. We will be moving back to that area, nearer to my family and where I grew up. I have thoroughly enjoyed and treasured every moment I have spent with all of you. It has been so amazing and fulfilling to me as an educator to watch the program double in size and to see our students grow over the years both as performers and young, responsible members of society. I want to thank every parent for his/her sacrifices, commitment to our students, and dedication to the program. Thank you to anyone who has ever folded a carne asada burrito, “plumed” a shako, unloaded a piece of percussion equipment, tolerated a bus ride, helped the front ensemble push something onto the field for a competition, built a wall, sewn a flag, covered the football bleachers, sold carne asada burritos, plastic wrapped the shako rack, checked in students at band camp, and supported our students in their performances. I have been so fortunate to have such a great group of parents who want the best for their kids. I want to thank Mrs. Salazar and our administration and counselors for allowing me to build the program, adding to it our Jazz Band, Beginning Band/Percussion Ensemble, and Musical Orchestra. I am so fortunate that Mrs. Salazar put her faith in me over twenty-five other applicants, and have been honored to continue the success and quality associated with the La Quinta High School Instrumental Music Program. I want to give a special thank you to my first graduating class of seniors and senior parents. I am so appreciative and humbled by your outstanding commitment, perseverance, and dedication to the La Quinta High School Blackhawk Brigade. There are eleven of you who were there from the beginning when I painted you a picture of what our program could someday become (as you waited to get on the bus last at our first field show competition since you were freshmen). We know how much work it has been to get where we are today, and I hope you got as much out of it as you put into it. I hope you’re able to take what you’ve learned through this activity and apply it to the rest of your life to become the best person you are capable of being. Never be complacent or settle for mediocrity. The students of this program have taught me that with hard work, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Let’s make the most of our remaining time together. Let’s have great rehearsals and performances that are representative of what we’ve worked four years to achieve. Drop your luggage at the door, enjoy every minute of it, and let’s finish strong! Respectfully, Mr. Darren Loney Director of Instrumental Music La Quinta High School www.blackhawkbrigade.org
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