"This is just one of the best nights of my life," said an emotional Eric Bachmann as he stood in front of a full gym at Emerson Middle School.
Last week was the Spring Concert at Emerson, which was also the final concert for Band Director Eric Bachmann before he heads into retirement after 34 years on the job.
The celebration featured two original pieces of music: "Stick Together" and "The Purple Eagle March".
"Thank you so much for your 30-plus years of work," said Emerson alum Tim Kwasny who created "Stick Together". "There's a lot of people in the audience too that I'm seeing, old faces, and we come back because we appreciate you. Thank you. You've done more than you can ever imagine for all of us.
Alex Teater, who works closely with Bachmann as a Band Director, is the one who commissioned "The Purple Eagle March" as a surprise gift. It combined two of Bachmann's favorite things, marches, and Northwestern's fight song.
"This is a very personal piece, and it was a lot of fun to work together with Danielle on this commission," said Teater. "I can't believe that we didn't spoil the surprise at some point because we've had this for months. But Mr. Bachmann, we hope that you enjoy The Purple Eagle March."
Bachmann was presented with a plaque that will be displayed at Emerson. It reads, "In Honor of Eric Bachmann for 34 years of dedication to musical excellence. Thank you for your passion, commitment, and brilliance. You have inspired many to be their very best. In music, EVERYBODY county!"
"On behalf of parents, students, and families whose lives he's touched over the years, I want to say thank you and congratulations," said BOPA President Christy Erickson. "We wish you all the best in your retirement and know that you will continue to inspire and educate others in all that you do."
Emerson Band alumni joined the current band and sent Bachmann off into retirement with one final song, "Let's Go Band!"
You can view pictures of the concert by clicking here.
Also, here's a video recap of Bachmann's final concert.
PLUS, here are pictures from Lincoln Middle School's Spring Concert. And a video from there as well.