Former students and their parents hailing from across the country gathered recently at Neshaminy High School to honor Mike Lipton, who is retiring after 35 years as the instrumental music director.
Lipton taught music classes, gave instrumental music lessons and conducted the concert band, wind ensemble and, for a time, the jazz band. Still, most of his time and energy was devoted to the award-winning NHS Marching Band. Under his leadership, students learned discipline, teamwork, responsibility, confidence, pride, precision and, of course, music and marching.
At the conclusion of his final wind ensemble performance, Lipton and his wife were led from the auditorium by the NHS drumline to Gym 1, which was filled with cheering parents, students, colleagues and, the biggest surprise of all, an alumni band performance. Over 100 former students (some from 30 years ago) came together to play the alma mater and two numbers, under the direction of music teacher Donna Burmylo-Magrann.
Following laudatory words and funny stories from colleagues, the Liptons were led out of the gym to the center hall of the school for a grand celebration. Surrounded by band trophies and photos of days gone by, friends had the opportunity to reunite, share memories and wish Lipton all the best in his well-deserved retirement.