Lia Surprise Squad helps local band teacher go out on high note

(Western Mass News photo)

The Northampton High School band is ending the month on a high note, rehearsing for their performance at Carnegie Hall happening this weekend.

The band teacher is leading the beat for her last time as she marches towards retirement.

The Northampton High School band is making major developments. They're performing at Carnegie Hall!

"It's a lot of feelings, a lot of nerves. This is the big monumental moment of all our work," said Tighe Ridley.

The moment also symbolizing the end of an era for Deb Coon, who has taught music at the school for 15 years and leaving a mark on both students and parents -- like Sylvia Fappiano and Cheryl Whalen.

"She's an amazing band teacher and she's the type of woman that says no kid will be left behind, whether they can afford it or not.," Whalen said.

Fappiano added, "I think we wanted to nominate her because she is a fantastic teacher and she's done a lot. She should go out on a high note!"

On that note, we headed to the band room, playing to the beat of the Surprise Squad drum.

Hard work, repetition, and a whole lot of funding, but Coon made sure the trip didn't fall flat

A major key to the band's success, it's deserving of flowers and a little extra baggage for every member.

We also had one other thing for the group's trip to New York.

Everyone is receiving a ticket to the Museum of Modern Art from Western Mass News and the Surprise Squad

Sounding sharp, seniors Ashley Ginzberg and Tighe Ridley want their high school careers to end on a high note, especially for Coon.

"I'm so grateful of all the opportunities she's made sure we have and thank you for pushing farther than any other teacher would push so we have a great group of people that will be continuing music," Ginzberg said.

Ridley added, "This being her last year especially I want to give her a nice send-off and a moment of appreciation and satisfaction, so going up there, I want to get let of all the tension of the year and fundraising to just melt away."

"They're all unique, so this is an experience I'll share with these folks who are absolutely amazing and fabulous. After you've worked so hard and get to enjoy it together, you'll never forget it," Coon explained.

Don't forget that if you'd like to nominate someone for a visit from the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad, email

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.