December 20, 2013 — “Build professional relationships with all the people you go to school with, because you never know what they’ll end up doing—and how you’ll end up meeting them down the line.” This perspective shared by Class of 2011 alumnus Paul Pearl was just some of the advice and wisdom Glens Falls graduates gave to current students at the High School’s third annual Alumni Day, held on Friday, December 20, 2013.
Thanks to the efforts of Music Department Chair Scott Severance and other staff members, more than 60 alumni came back to share their post-graduation experiences with students.
“Find something you love doing, do it, and turn it into your discipline,” offered Class of 1990 alumnus Chris Hamlen, who now works as an energy lawyer in North Hampton, Massachusetts. “That’s what music did for me. It’s how I became a disciplined person,” he continued.
Mr. Hamlen drove all the way from North Hampton to Glens Falls just to participate in the Alumni Day jazz concert Friday afternoon. As an elementary student, Mr. Hamlen was in the first class Mr. Severance ever taught, and later studied with him in the middle and high schools. He says he owes a lot to Mr. Severance. “He was a major influence on me, and was really important to my development as a student,” said Mr. Hamlen.
“My ability to navigate the work world was developed through studying music, practice … through getting involved in various groups and getting out there,” said Mr. Hamlen, who now plays in several jazz groups in Massachusetts. “You find out that those skills can be transferred to whatever you’re doing.”
The alumni spoke in classrooms throughout the day, and music department alumni joined the jazz ensemble for their performance at a school-wide closing assembly. Principal Mark Stratton recognized each returning alumni, plus the 25 High School staff members who are also Glens Falls graduates.