Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Marilyn Syra

Marilyn will laugh that I am including her in a blog on famous people, but she seems to have made her mark.

I remember, as though it were yesterday, growing up with Marilyn. From elementary school through high school graduation, she was a classmate and good friend. I especially remember convincing her to take up playing the flute, something I began in fifth grade with only moderate success. I wanted a friend of mine to also play, so I talked her into learning the instrument, never knowing how well she'd do with it, or how far she'd go in music.

Marilyn thrived on the flute. Literally. She went straight to first chair, while I languished in mediocrity, and then moved on to bassoon my sophomore year of high school, and later tympani. We were together in concert band, stage band, marching band, and choir, all the way through high school graduation. Marilyn did well in solo flute competition and was in the Wyoming All State Band.

I remember early junior high days when we'd listen to whatever latest Monkees album over and over, memorizing all the songs. Some weekends I'd sleep over at the trailer in the oil company subdivision where she lived with her parents. We had some great times.

I lost track of Marilyn for an extended period after high school. We went off in different directions, both of us to college. She declared a major in music, and I studied design and philosophy. Fortunately, she took the musical experiences we had growing up in Big Piney and made a difference in the lives of others with that.

Marilyn Syra.

Marilyn is now the band director at Tooele High School in Tooele, Utah, a position she has held for sixteen years, leading the concert, jazz and marching bands. She is beloved by her students and I have no doubt is an outstanding educator and mentor to them.

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