YSU Wind Ensemble surprises retired conductor at concert
He recently announced that he will be retiring after 28 years in college
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble and Horn Choir held a special concert on Saturday afternoon where they honored a longtime conductor with their performance.
It took place outside of the Harrison Commons, and it was the last concert longtime conductor Stephen Gage to conduct.
Gage recently announced that he will be retiring after 28 years in college.
“I really enjoyed being a part of this emotionally charged group of human beings, great professors, from a great university,” Gage said.
On Saturday, students from the Wind Ensemble and the Horn Choir performed.
Then, to surprise Gage, his alumni joined the stage for the final song, performing “The Stars and Stripes Forever” under his direction.
They feel an eternal impact of his work in their lives.
“He has been a mentor to many of them and continues to have great relationships with our alumni,” said Randall Goldberg, Principal of the Dana School of Music.
The Director of Groups and Orchestra has conducted the YSU Dana Symphony Orchestra since 2014.
He has also conducted the annual Opera Production Orchestra and the Music School’s Wind Ensemble.
Gage leaves behind an excellent staff committed to helping students succeed in music.
“I told them I loved them,” Gage said. “And teachers need to be reminded that, and parents, all they want from teachers is for their children to learn. That they would grow up appropriately and that there would be the right kind of love shared with them.
The alumni also shared their thoughts on the legendary conductor.
“He’s been so awesome the last twenty years that I wanted to do this for him, just to show him how much I appreciate everything he has done for me and for music education in the valley,” said Bob Antonucci, YSU alumnus.
“It’s a day of crying for me, and I’m proud of it,” Gage said. “You know, I don’t know what else you could want.
Gage says, although his time at YSU is over, he will continue to lead the Packard Band and hopes to see some of his former students there as well.