Ocoee Middle School band plays tribute to Brian Gallaher
It's been nearly a year since Ocoee Middle School lost its beloved band director in a car crash. Since then, students have looked for ways to honor Brian Gallaher.
It's been nearly a year since Ocoee Middle School lost its beloved band director in a car crash. Since then, students have looked for ways to honor Brian Gallaher. They have now found the perfect tribute.
The 8th Grade OMS Band has been learning a new song, composed just for Gallaher.
"It means so much," said 8th grade flute player, Marlee Montgomery.
"It really represents Mr. Gallaher well," Montgomery said of the piece.
"Our band is doing a world premiere piece. No one in the world, no one in the universe, has ever played it before. And it's music that was written specifically in memory of Brian Gallaher," said Kelley Burroughs, OMS Band Director.
Internationally renowned composer, Michael Sweeney, agreed to write "Celtic Farewell" for the OMS band.
"He heard the story about Brian and wanted to help and help us heal," Burroughs said.
"Mr. Gallaher meant so much to everybody," said Spencer Hughes, who took Gallaher's place as Band Director.
Hughes said students are putting their hearts into the new music.
"It's probably the hardest piece that the 8th grade band has ever played," he said, "but at the same time, the students have really stepped up."
"Just about every day, I take this (trombone) home and practice, over and over and over and over again," said 8th grade trombone player, Micah Lyon.
Students said "Celtic Farewell" is different from any other piece they've performed. The composer specifically added a bagpipe solo to honor Gallaher, who was learning how to play bagpipes before he died.
"It's gonna be amazing," said Lyon.
"It sounds phenomenal," Hughes agreed. "It's going to be perfect."
Gallaher's music will be a lasting tribute.
"It will always be there," Burroughs said, "and that's a testament to Brian's legacy."
The band will perform Gallaher's piece at their spring concert on Monday night at Lee University.
It will then be published for bands all over the world to purchase. The title will include "In Memory of Brian Gallaher."
The semi truck driver who caused the crash that killed Gallaher and five others, Benjamin Brewer, faces 13 charges, including six counts of vehicular homicide and DUI. His trial is set to begin on August 16.