Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Tribute

Ralph Hartse

I’ve been a music teacher for 38 years. During that time I have had the chance to meet many other educators in the field. My first teaching job was in Golva, North Dakota about 10 miles from the Montana line. It was in Golva that I met Roy Wood from Baker. Roy came over a couple of times to work my band and just talk about teaching. He talked about how great the Miles City Band was and what a great guy Ralph was to work with. Push the clock ahead 4 years and I’m teaching in Simms and I’m hearing from other directors about the great bands on the east side of the state, and Miles City is in that conversation.

I was so proud of being offered this opportunity because I knew the strength of former programs and felt Miles City was a music town.

During the 3 years I’ve been in town I had the chance to talk with Ralph a few times. He came up to hear the band and talk with the group. My students really enjoyed these times and Ralph was always so supportive. Roy Wood was right Ralph was a great educator and a gentleman.

It is said that we walk in the footsteps of those who come before us. I know that as long as Ralph’s former students are alive to talk about Ralph and his bands, my groups will be compared to those groups and my teaching will be compared to his. I’m fine with that. Ralph was a great teacher with a great heart. He didn’t just teach music but also life lessons. That is what teaching should be about.

Ralph you did it right. Rest in Peace. You made a real difference, Job well done.

Michael Gillan, CCDHS Band director