To the Bangor Band, he's Conductor Curvin, but to me, he will always be my high school band conductor, Mr. Farnham.

Wasn't Curvin Farnham at the University of Maine, As Well?

I was sorry that I had to miss last night's Bangor Band concert at Maine Savings Amphitheater when I learned that it was the conductor's last performance with them. He's retiring and it's a well-deserved rest for a man who has had a huge impact on Maine's music scene. In the later years of his career, he taught at the University of Maine in Orono and then, after retiring from the college, became conductor of the Bangor Band.

Witch High School Was That? (Yup, that's not a typo)

But before all of that, he was the band director for Brewer High School (Brewer Witches...get it?) and I was the flute player that sat right in front of him. I have such fond memories of that time in my life, and hearing of his retirement brought back a bunch. Mr. Farnham was a tough teacher, who insisted on perfection. I'm sure he rarely got it from a bunch of high schoolers, but he strived for it every day.

Get our free mobile app

Some Memories...Both Good and Not-So-Good

Actually, that's not true. He did achieve it at least once. I was a member of the Brewer High School band when Mr. Farnham took us to the New England Music Festival in New Hampshire in 1978, where we competed against other bands from around the region. He warned us that we wouldn't win but it would be a great experience for us. But we did win. First place. The moment one of the judges came to our makeshift street dance in front of the hotel and announced our win is one I'll never forget.

He was tough and didn't hesitate to point out when you made a mistake, like the time he stopped the entire band when I started a half-beat too early. I still remember how red my face was. But I definitely paid more attention after that.

Mr. Farnham, thank you for helping provide some of my best high school memories. You instilled a love of music that has carried over into my current career and impacted the lives of so many Maine grateful students. I hope you get plenty of time to travel, relax, and maybe attend a Bangor Band Concert or two.

Stroll Through These Photos Of The Brewer Riverwalk

The 1.1mile-long Brewer Riverwalk gives a vantage point to all three bridges that cross between Brewer and Bangor and the Bangor Waterfront. There's plenty of park benches along the way to sit and take in the sights.

25 Bangor Then and Now Photos From Google Street View

Take a look at how Downtown Bangor, the Waterfront, State Street, Stillwater and more areas of Bangor looked years ago compared to today using Google Street View archives.

More From WQCB Brewer Maine