Educator Spotlight – Ray Novack, Beverly High School

Ray-NovackMay 2012 Educator Spotlight, Ray Novack, Beverly High School Band Director

Retiring Band Director, Ray Novack receives a fitting farewell gift: an original composition by a professional composer who is also a former student.

When retiring teacher Raymond Novack puts the finishing touches on a 35-year long music teaching career next month, he’ll do so on the happy note that, “After 35 years, I can say I never WORKED a day in my life at Beverly High.” Novack moves on to the next phase of his life with the knowledge that “After 35 years, I can happily say there are many of my students who still keep music in their lives, whether it be as a teacher, writer, or performer.”

To add an extra note of sweetness to his last days as a high school music teacher, Novack’s Beverly High School Concert Band is preparing for the premiere of a piece by composer Michael Benoit, class of ’93. “Supernova was composed to commemorate the retirement of my high school band director, Ray Novack,” explains Benoit. “I thought of the title before writing a single note, and it seemed like a fitting (if not obvious) choice given its dedication to Mr. Novack (aka “Novie”).”

Says Novack, “Michael stands out because of his musical “path”, going from clarinet, to saxophone, to an AllState trombonist, and now a composer. He also works for VH1. He was also our band president, and really blossomed in his senior year at BHS. The thing that I liked best about Mike was that he was a nice kid with a great personality. He had a way to make everyone around him better and went out of his way to make our program the best it could be.”  He goes on, “We ‘talk’ now and then on Facebook, and a few months ago, he mentioned about writing a piece specifically for the Beverly High School Concert Band. I of course was all for it, especially since this is my 35th and last year at BHS. I am honored that he has composed this piece, Supernova.”

The Beverly High School Music Department has over two hundred and fifty instrumentalists and vocalists. There are six performing ensembles: Concert Choir, Vocal Ensemble, Chorus, String Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, and Concert/Marching Band. The Concert Band will premiere “Supernova” on May 24, 2012 at Beverly High School Auditorium.