It's the final song, for Winnebago Band Director Phyllis Hogberg, as she conducts her last high school band concert, tonight. After nearly 30 years of marching to her own beat, she's ending on a high note, earning our Teacher of the Week honor.
The leader of the 'Bago Band has been the ultimate job for Hogberg. Growing up, she says dreamed of being a band director.
"My mom wasn't very happy, because at that time, women were secretaries," Hogberg says. "And so she always wanted me to brush up on my typing skills, let my trumpet sit at home."
Now, times have changed, and Hogberg stands at the front of the semi circle. Having started with 36 kids in the high school band, she'll retire with over 200.
"I think I expect a lot from my students," she says. "I learned a long time ago, if you don't ask for anything, you won't receive anything, and so I've been put in a position that I've been able to ask, and I've never been disappointed in any of my groups. They've always performed really well."
But music hasn't been just a job for Hogberg. It's a lifestyle, giving her opportunities to teach kids the importance of music both now and into the future. And as she says goodbye after her final performance tonight, she can't help but feel thankful.
"I'm not much of a crier, but it's pretty tough," Hogberg says. "I've had a good run here. We've done lots of things. Been all around the country, both in and out of the country, on band trips. And it's just been an awesome experience for me and it's okay that I'm retiring, but it will be certainly bitter sweet tonight."
Hogberg's final concert is tonight at 7pm at Winnebago High School. She even admits she might cry. And after retirement? A little extra fishing wouldn't be so bad.
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