Brian Gellerstein, our beloved music teacher, will be the Inaugural honoree at our Spring Gala event on May 7th. Brian is one of those special teachers with the ability to touch and positively influence the lives of every student. Brian also works incredibly hard to bring our Vassal Lane community together around music and the arts. Our Spring Gala is the perfect event to honor Brian’s impact at our school – he can just enjoy the evening without having to put on the show. Please join us as we celebrate Brian’s incredible contribution to our school; he and his wife, Andrea, will be our special guests.
I think of Brian as the glue that holds the diverse fabric of our school together. He tirelessly advocates for the importance of the arts and music in our children’s education. We all benefit when the arts and humanities feature prominently in our lives – in the words of Drew Faust, Harvard’s President, understanding of the world is enhanced through literature and arts as they “transform the heart as well as the mind”. Brian’s personal connection with each one of our students ensures the special place that music has in their hearts and minds.
This was exemplified by last Thursday’s Chorus class. It was the first nice day and the kids wanted to go outside. Brian heartily agreed, grabbed his guitar, and led the 8th graders out to the side of the building. They gathered in their semi-circle around Brian and his music stand and sang an acoustic version of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” serenading a handful of curious onlookers. Many could wax lyrical about the pedagogical strategy of this approach to musical education but it is likely that the kids will remember how it felt to harmonize in a group with the promise of Spring in the air. Transforming hearts indeed…
Every Vassal Lane Upper School student has a special connection to Brian and a story to tell – please share your family’s stories, thoughts, and remembrances about Brian. I am collating them.
Please join us on Thursday May 7th as we honor Brian and the role he has played in creating the musical spirit that unites our Upper School on Vassal Lane.