Diane is from Green Bay and went to school in Wisconsin and settled in Normal and started teaching strings in Unit 5 in the late 70s. She has taught in several buildings with most of her time teaching 5-12th grade orchestra. One of the biggest accomplishments in her tenure has been the opening and development of the Normal West Orchestra Program, which she has been the director of since fall of 1995. Diane has served on many committees throughout the years but I know she would consider one of her most important roles part of the Instrumental Recruitment Team, which oversees students selecting their instruments as beginners, she also serves as the Music Department Chair for Normal West. Diane is a rock-star teacher and has several accomplishments under her belt, guest conducting experiences and even Illinois American String Teacher of Year for 2[phone redacted].
I cannot even begin to guess the number of students that Diane has taught in her career, thousands; she probably remembers personal stories and the names of all of them, and their dogs, and their prom date, and whether or not they were also die hard Packer fansJ She has always referred to her students are just “salt of the earth” good people and Diane is definitely one of the same, she has touched so many lives, students and their families.
Our hope with this fundraising event is to raise funds for two separate projects which we feel would honor Diane in the best way possible. The first is to have a piece commissioned for orchestra, once the piece is completed we would ask her to come back and conduct the ensemble for its premiere. This piece would permanently be housed in our library and if other orchestras play it we would be able to share with them her legacy. The second project would be a scholarship fund, which we would be able to give to a graduating Normal West Orchestra member in her name for future years. We would leave the opportunity to donate to this indefinitely.
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