Kennedy High Band
By DAPHNE CHEN
LA PALMA — He had led the band
all over the world — to Hawaii, Washington D.C., England, Ireland, and
2000 Summer Olympics in Australia.
Bob Anthony recently retired as
Shamrock Regiment Band Director at John F. Kennedy High School.
Anthony had worked at Kennedy
High School since 1993, and before that at Western High in Anaheim.
During his career at Kennedy
High, Anthony had expanded the Shamrock Regiment from 40 to more than
members and inspired many students.
"Mr. Anthony was the teacher
that put his students first," said Paul Hsu, band alumni from class of
1999. "He made sure that the experiences that we had with the band was
truly a memorable experience. Musically, he taught us that each piece
has its story."
In May, the alumni band
commissioned a wind ensemble written specifically for him and held a
June where more than 100 former students attended to celebrate his
In honor of Anthony, the Kennedy
Band Alumni started the Shamrock Regiment Alumni & Friends
non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for the band.
They also plan on giving an
annual scholarship to a graduating senior from the band or color guard
name of Bob Anthony.
Despite his retirement from
Kennedy, Anthony plans to continue developing musicians at the college
including his work as director of the concert band at Cypress College,
Biola University, teaching marching band.
Anthony was succeeded at Kennedy
by Joshua Parsons, a 1997 graduate of Katella High in Anaheim. Parsons
bachelor's and master's degrees from Biola, and is pursuing a doctorate
Anthony spoke a little about his
time at Kennedy High:
Q. How did you first become
interested in music?
A. I grew up with a family
of musicians. My dad played the trumpet. My brother was a violinist and
sister was a flutist, so I grew up surrounded with music. Music is a
love and feel like I know. I play the piano, but my principle
instrument is the
Q. Can you describe your
job as band director of the Shamrock Regiment?
A. It was all-consuming. I
conduct and we practice. It's a lot of work and so many people come
program. It's very fulfilling and rewarding in the sense of feeling
Q. How have the students
A. They've been part of my
life as friends are. They challenge you — in a good way — and there's a
sense of camaraderie. Watching them grow and mature as individuals and
musicians is really rewarding.
Q. What is your most
memorable experience as Shamrock Regiment band director?
A. Playing at the Opera
House in Sydney, Australia for the Olympics. We were selected to
(They) needed 2,000 people for the opening ceremony. I was asked to
high school students, so we went and I invited Irvine and El Dorado
School. Also, every four years, we march in the parade at Dublin,
go on St. Patrick's Day and there are just thousands and thousands of
Q. What will you miss most
about teaching at JFK High School?
A. My contact with the students.
It was very difficult leaving. Through teaching, you get to know them
personally... We play wonderful music together and there is a bond
Q. What will you do now?
A. I'm still teaching at
Biola University and Cypress College and I'm going to be judging other
like to help whenever I can.