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The Suburbanite
  • Green's 'Music Man' Dale Davidson retires

  • In the eyes of many Green High School students and parents, Dale Davidson, is the “music man.” After 34 years of teaching music he has decided to retire, from teaching that is. He doesn't plan to sit still; he plans to pursue another career. He has played professionally and may pursue that again.

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  • In the eyes of many Green High School students and parents, Dale Davidson, is the “music man.” After 34 years of teaching music he has decided to retire, from teaching that is. He doesn't plan to sit still; he plans to pursue another career. He has played professionally and may pursue that again.
    Davidson stated it has a lot more to do with the fact that things are changing so quickly in Columbus for teachers.
    “The decision was the right decision for our family right now,” he said.
    Davidson has left an impression on the many students and teachers he has worked with over the years. His career began at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in 1977 where he was the band and choir director. He left and went to Springfield High School in 1981 and worked with the bands until 1994. He then went to Green High School where he has taught for the last 17 years.
    “This has been really rewarding here at Green High School,” he said. “The support of the administration, of the community, and parents, has been wonderful.”
    He said he had wonderful support at St. V and Springfield as well, he has just been at Green the longest.
    At Green High School he has been Head Director and directs the marching band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra and the Pep Band. The last three years he has been the Department Chair for the Performing Arts Department K through 12.
    Davidson said that he has always loved band and always wanted to be a teacher.
    “My father was a teacher. We used to paint houses in the summer and he would employ other teachers. Every summer I worked hand in hand with teachers. It just made sense to me,” he said.
    His sister, Debbie Wilkinson is also a music teacher in the Akron Schools and she retired one week before Davidson.
    “It is unusual to have two music majors in one family,” he said.
    June 7 was the night of his last senior class and graduation, which makes 34 for him. He stated that there are two songs that he has directed more than any other, “Sleigh Ride” at Christmas and “Pomp and Circumstances” for graduation. He has no idea how many times he has actually directed the graduation song as they play it over and over until the last student crosses the stage.
    “Music and the enjoyment of music is a life skill,” he said. “You do not have to major in it to perform or enjoy music.”     
    Today in many universities, the marching bands aren’t comprised of music  majors. Most are pursuing other vocations.
    Davidson said the same thing is true in high school; you do not have to plan on majoring in music to pick up an instrument, learn to play it, practice it and enjoy the level of performance.
    Page 2 of 3 - “Music is something that will stay with you the rest of your life. It teaches self discipline, respect, leadership, learning to master a skill, the enjoyment of performing and sharing music.
    There are a lot of benefits to playing music,” he said.
    He added that when you are playing an instrument both sides of that brain is working. You are multi tasking and it is creating a better student, better math skills and higher test scores.
    “We have kids from the top of the class to specific educational needs to medical needs. Respecting each other and the different kinds of music is important as well. The overall education is to expose kids to a variety of music not, just one particular flavor,” Davidson said.
    There are about 500 students involved in band throughout the Green Schools, with 10 percent of the high school students in the program. Davidson said that he has worked with some wonderful people over the years.
    “There have always been good people around me. It is a team effort. If we did not have great teachers in the elementary and middle schools we would not have the program we have today in the high school.”
    Director Amy Rach said, “Working with Dale is always fun. We working hard, but it is always fun.”
    Pete Reimer has been working with Davidson for nine years and said that Dale is one of those guys that allows you to make your own contribution to the program.
    “When I first came here he understood that I loved jazz and that I had studied it, my first year he allowed me to have our top jazz band. Personally, he is just a great guy and a good friend,” Reimer said.
    Rach added that she has great memories with Davidson. “It has been a really great time with him, and the memories with the kids,” she said.
    “Watching him work with kids and being able to learn from that experience has been priceless for me. It has made me a better teacher,” said Reimer.
    Davidson is a graduate of Hoover High School in North Canton, Kent State University with his bachelor degree and the University of Akron for his Masters. His wife, Karen Ross Davidson is a graduate of Springfield High. Karen is a secretary at Lake High School in the guidance office. They live in Uniontown, and have a son, Chad, 26, and a daughter, Amanda, 22.
    He wanted to thank everyone in the community for their support over the years.
    He told his senior class that he feels like a senior in high school. “All of a sudden you reach a point in your life where everything comes to a halt and you are not quite sure where you are going. I feel like one of those seniors walking across the stage.”
    Page 3 of 3 - He does not know what he will do, but plans to look for another job. He has graduated from this life experience, the man that has brought music to students and families for 34 years.

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