Spring Concert Entertains Crowd
Hundreds turned out on what felt like a hot summer day for the GSA Spring Concert at the Blue Hill Fairgrounds Sunday for performances by the GSA Jazz Band, Early Birds combo, Jazz Immunity combo, and the GSA Band. The event also was an informal celebration of Steve Orlofsky*.
Mr. O, who is retiring after 34 years as a music teacher and instrumental music director at George Stevens, opened the concert by welcoming the crowd and acknowledging the extraordinary year for all the musical ensembles. He also noted that the GSA Band had only been practicing since earlier that spring, and in two separate groups, and had performed for the public only once, at the Memorial Day Parade, rather than a dozen or more times at school concerts, basketball games, and at other musical events. It was remarkable, he pointed out, how well they played together with so little practice, and he honored all the musicians for their dedication and effort.
Steve dedicated the concert, the first time he had ever done so, to his family, wife Carol and daughter Kate, for their support over the decades.
He then welcomed GSA’s next music director, Phelan Gallagher ’02, to the stage. Phelan said that he had been dreaming of this moment for a long time. “I am truly honored and humbled to be taking over for such an inspiring, well-loved educator,” he said in an email.
To watch the GSA Jazz Band perform “Summertime” on our YouTube channel, CLICK HERE.
After the Jazz Band set, Steve returned to the stage to hand out T-shirts, with Phelan’s help, to everyone who competed and placed in the online National Jazz Festival in May. To read an earlier story about that festival, with video links, visit our website HERE.
Performances followed by the Early Birds combo, the Jazz Immunity combo, and the GSA band.
Steve then announced the outstanding musician awards for this year.
Recipients of Outstanding Freshmen Musician awards were Mattea Black and Iris Kimball.
Outstanding Sophomore Musician awards went to Jenna Blodgett, Austin Chandler, Jillian Eldridge, Tony Esposito, Andy Hipsky, and Nora Spratt.
Recipients of the Outstanding Junior Musician awards were Morgan Davis, Gabe Hall, and Will MacArthur.
Outstanding Senior Musician awards went to Hope Bowden, Amelia Griffith, Fiona Larkin, Mike Moon, Elia O’Hara, Tony Politano, and Nick Steinbarger. Evan Chapman received the Outstanding Senior Musician GSA Band award. Margaret Nevin received the Outstanding Senior Musician GSA Jazz Band award. Zeke Sacaridiz won the Outstanding Senior Musician GSA Combo award.
After Steve had announced all of his awards, Zeke and the rest of the musicians presented him with flowers and a gift basket of some of his favorite things to thank him for all he has done for them over the years. Maria Matthews, Deb Kingston-Stabler, and Gaye Rogers, parents of graduates of the GSA jazz music program, then unrolled a banner, which read “We love you, Mr. O,” in front of the crowd. Tim Seeley spoke in honor of Mr. O and invited Gary Milliken ’88, one of Steve’s first students at GSA, to say a few words.
The concert concluded with the band playing the school song.
Thank you to everyone involved in presenting Saturday’s concert!
*A celebration of the legacy of Steve Orlofsky is being planned for the summer of 2022 so that as many people as possible, near and far, will be able to join us. If you would like to help with planning, please contact Rada Starkey at email@example.com.