Grade 3 (4:16)
|Gary P. Gilroy|
Christmas Meditation is dedicated to Dan Bryan, Director of Bands, and the Gregori High School Band Program of Modesto, California. This simple yet thoughtful tune is meant to provide the musicians and listeners a chance to relax and spend a moment thinking about what the Christmas season means to each of us.
Mr. Bryan was a young high school student at Grace Davis High School in Modesto, California when composer Gary P. Gilroy was Director of Bands at Fred C. Beyer High School and first noticed Dan’s energy and love of life. Gilroy remembers seeing Dan Bryan excitedly accepting a Drum Major trophy at one of the many high school band competitions during those days. He admired the young student’s enthusiasm. Eventually Gary P. Gilroy hired Mr. Bryan to work with the Beyer High School percussion section and in time, Dan Bryan would follow Gilroy to Fresno State to complete his degree in music.
With Dr. Gilroy’s recommendation, Dan Bryan was hired at Grace Davis High School as the new band director where he would grow as a music educator and state leader in the field of music education. Eventually, Dan Bryan started the music program at Modesto’s newest high school, Gregori High School, where he continued his pursuit of excellence and became the Chair of Modesto City School’s high school music programs. Dr. Gilroy enjoyed having Mr. Bryan as a student and enjoys seeing him flourish in California as a leader in his profession. He dedicates this haunting melody for concert band and writes the following about their friendship:
I’ve always been quite proud of Dan Bryan for his work with his music students, the California Music Educators Association and the California Band Directors Association. His accomplishments give me a sense of success as a teacher and mentor and that is a wonderful feeling. But I am probably even more proud of some of the things Dan learned from me that have little to do with music. About six or seven years ago Dan learned about something I do each Christmas and Easter morning and he decided he wanted to join me in my efforts. So for a number of years now, Dan and I work as a team in an area called “Five Points” in Modesto, California where we recruit local homeless folks and treat them to a warm meal at the Denny’s restaurant. Through the years the number of people we attract has grown substantially. Dan Bryan has been my loyal friend and co-sponsor of this little project and while it is great to have his financial assistance, it is even better to have the early morning ‘hang’ each time we get together for this special work. Today I dedicate this thoughtful tune to my good friend Dan Bryan and hope that we will continue our special tradition for many years to come.