Thank you staff, Russell Payne

Dear Mr. Tucker,


You probably didn’t expect a thank you note from me, but you are getting one from me. I don’t really know how to begin this, so I’ll start by saying thank you. I have many teachers that were friends and others that just taught me, but you were something a little different. You were like a father figure not only to me but the whole band. 


Your door was always open to everyone, and over the years I have noticed how many people you have comforted in tough times. You always believed in us and pushed us to the limit no matter how tough the challenge was. Over the years we have had a rough-looking group or two, and you always found a way to motivate us to do great. You also were always so proud of us. After we didn’t advance or when we would you always made us feel special. You just always seemed to know what to say and when to say it. 


I really did enjoy the band, and I really did love it. My only regret of high school is that I quit. We might not have been super close or nothing, but you just were just inspirational. Your passion for teaching us music, the love for the students, you were just all about. You always brought your A game. I know you went through some tough times over the years, but you always did your best. 


So I wanted to say thank you to you. For all the late nights you waited for our parents to pick us up after those long football games. For pulling that trailer to those football games. All those long Monday night practices. I know printing out those charts and stapling them together had to be a hassle. The times you would whip out your saxophone made playing that much more fun. Dealing with all those band nerds couldn’t have always been fun, and those middle schoolers got to be even worse. Thanks for having those summer practices showing us hard work. The dad jokes weren’t very funny, but laughing at how bad they were was fun.


I want to thank you for opening my eyes to music. I’m sorry to say my embouchure is not what it used to be, but I can probably still finger a couple of scales. I have started playing the guitar which I assume you saw at the pep rally by the way I’m a little better than what I showed there. You opened my eyes to music in a way of striving for perfection and the joy that comes from it. I thank you for what you have done for me and many others. You were a truly great teacher and it was great being one of your students. 



Russell Payne