Last weekend, The Press Democrat honored Montgomery High School music teacher Steve Dixon, retiring after 36 years as a teacher, the past of 25 of them at Montgomery High and Slater Middle School.
We also revealed his secret life as a trombonist with the Chico Bavarian Band, a popular attraction at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.
His many fans were not going to get it go at that. At his retirement party last weekend, they produced a giant cutout photo of Dixon in lederhosen. (Courtesy of Sign-A-Rama Santa Rosa.)
But the event had a serious side, too.
A report follows from today’s special correspondent, Scott Eberhart, Montgomery High School Band Booster Club president:
Retiring Montgomery High School band director, Steve Dixon, stepped away from the podium Saturday evening while the music department, parents, and students honored his 36 years of teaching. The evening began with potluck foods and two jazz bands entertaining the guests during an hour of reminiscing with returning alumni.
The second hour brought everyone to their seats for a choir and band performance made even more special by several alumni joining the band. An open microphone followed to allow a legion of heartfelt tributes from past and current students letting Steve know, in tearful and funny stories, how much of a difference he has made in so many lives.
The evening ended with another hour of cake and potluck desserts to accompany an impromptu jam session. Mixed members of both jazz bands threw out a solid beat and drew several alumni up on stage. It didn’t take long to ease alumni jitters over dusting off their instruments for the evening.
And Eberhart adds some thoughts of his own:
“Mr. Dixon is a teaching dream,” he said. “He fosters a light in his students’ eyes as they create music. That light can change their life as they learn innovation can be fun. He will be missed and hard to replace. We wish him the best as he takes a well-deserved retirement.”
By the way, Dixon plans to continue playing in the Chico Bavarian Band with his son, Donald, 29, of Eugene, Ore., who is also in the band.