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Hersee Dedication Concert Tonight at Blake Middle School

The auditorium at the Blake Middle School will be dedicated tonight to the memory of Bob Hersee who taught music for many years in the building when it was the Medfield High School.

Bob Hersee taught music for 37 years.

He was known as the "Music Man" of Medfield High School where he was musical director, band director, chorus and Glee Club director, music coordinator, and content specialist until he retired in 1995.

He died in 2011. 

Tonight, the Medfield High School Alumni Association will dedicate the auditorium at the Blake Middle School auditorium (the former Medfield High School) in his honor. 

The doors open at 7 p.m. and the two-hour concert begins at 7:30 p.m.  

The dedication will include a plaque that will be permanently placed outside of the auditorium.

The program will also include music by former Medfield graduates as a way of kicking off the MHSAA multi-class reunion.  The concert will also feature current MHS band members. 

The Hersee family will be in attendance including his daughter, Renee (a MHS alumn who sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 10 years) who will sing "You Will Never Walk Alone," one of her father's favorite songs. 

While singing her solo, she will play the same Yamaha piano that her father played, on the stage where her father taught, for so many years.

"It's the same piano that Bob Hersee had his whole career here," said concert organizer Paul DeLuca, Class of 1978.  "It's been tuned up and that will be our gift to the school." 

DeLuca explained that when fellow graduate Lorraine D'Angelo called Boston Piano and Organ to arrange to have the concert tuned, the owner donated his services because he knew Hersee.  

"After Bob left teaching, he went to work for Boston Piano as a demonstrator for five years," said DeLuca.  "We didn't know that; what are the chances that the one place we called was the one place Bob had worked?"

Teddy Larkin, '82, remembers Hersee well.

"Bob was the man; he was cool, funny, talented, inspiring, dedicated, and passionate about the music and his work," recalls Larkin, now a professional musician who will lead tonight's band in a few of his original songs. 

"I knew at an early age that music was going to be my life, and Bob made me understand how challenging yet rewarding it can be. He made it fun," Larkin said, noting that Hersee was one of his first Medfield friends on Facebook.

"It was great to correspond with him after so many years. He hadn't changed a but and he was still writing and recording," Larkin said.  "This is going to be a special night."

Indeed.

The background music for tonight's show has been provided by Hersee himself.

"One of the women had an album that was recorded of one of Bob's concerts back in 1966 which has been converted and will be their background music," DeLuca explained.

The music program (attached) will feature:

Chorus and Soloists -- Aimee Beauregard Brown, Kimberly Palson Frigon, Betty Yokell, Kristen Paulson, Dennis Flaherty, Laura Lee Jones, Gail Nyren, Carey Lynn Eisenhauer, Gogo, Phyllis and Norman Belden, Graeme Justice, Renee Hersee, Helen Merlin, Renee Sumner, Jacquie Mandigo Ashe, Roxanne Shuell ("Sheila D"), Jalayne Lamph, Wendy Clarridge Moore, Jill Vollmuth, and Eddie Alley. 

Band -- Chris Davis, Mike Stanton, David Baler, Marybeth Sullivan-Dowdell, Joe Coulombre, Nick Cruickshank, and Lorraine D'Angelo.

The evening will begin with a slide montage of Hersee "for a life well lived" as well as photos of MHS alumni who have also passed away. 

The public is invited to attend and participate in this dedication ceremony.  

"This school has never seen a program like this," said DeLuca.  "There's a whole bunch of 'wow' moments in this thing...It's going to be very funky fun." 

Hersee would like that.

Tickets are $15 each and will benefit the MHSAA. 

For more information on the concert or the reunion weeked, contact DeLuca at pcdeluca2@gmail.com

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