George Washington High School Orchestra Conductor Retires After - abc27 WHTM

George Washington High School Orchestra Conductor Retires After 33 Years


Danville, VA - At the end of the school year, George Washington High School in Danville will say goodbye to one of their teachers who has walked the halls for the past 33 years. 

Chuck Sexton is the school's orchestra conductor and will conduct his last performance in May.

He said when he started in the 80s the orchestra was in its infancy. Since then, he's developed professional musicians and the group continuously receives top awards. 

Chuck Sexton says he has dedicated 33 years to develop the George Washington High School Symphony Orchestra.

"He's probably my favorite teacher of all time," said Tobi Addis a member of the orchestra. 

Many of Chuck Sexton's students are now savoring the couple months they have left with him this school year because Sexton is retiring, though.

Back when he first started, Sexton didn't even think he was going to spend more than one year at G.W.

"My first year here was 1981, and I actually filled in," said Sexton. 

But he was asked to stay and develop the group

"I was literally able to develop a program with the funding that I need. Now that's enticing for any music educator," said Sexton. 

Throughout the 80s Sexton took the group to higher levels.

"As we progressed technique wise the orchestra continued to grow in it's ability, it's technical ability," said Sexton. 

The orchestra continues to rank high, grabbing superior rankings. But Sexton said the most important part of his career at G.W. and what he'll miss the most is his relationship with his students.

"Our orchestra here is like a family. We all go through getting the driver's license and the prom dates and all of those things together," said Sexton. 

"He's very charismatic. I just like him a lot. I'm going to miss him a lot," said Cara Mills, a member of the orchestra. 

'He's not one of those teachers that just takes the bare minimum. He pushes us to do our best," said Hao Da, also a member of the orchestra.  

"I want them to be successful. I want to see the smile on their face when they do it right and hear that applause," Sexton said. 

Sexton's last time with his students will be at their Spring performance in May.

He said  he'll use his free time to work on some other projects he's been wanting to do, but he says he'll always be sure to return to G.W. for the orchestra's performances. 

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