August 17. 2018 9:14PM

Litchfield mourns loss of beloved music teacher

Union Leader Correspondent

LITCHFIELD — The local community is mourning the loss of a beloved music teacher who had a profound influence on Litchfield students.

Phil Martin, a longtime music teacher at Campbell High School, died this week while visiting family in Maine.

“Phil was one of the founding faculty members and an extremely talented music teacher who really loved his teaching, his colleagues and touched the lives of generations of students,” Principal William Lonergan said in a statement. “He was a very important member of our staff. We are very sad for Phil’s family and friends.”

Martin taught music for about 30 years, and also taught band, guitar and chorus at Campbell High School until 2017 when he took a role as coordinator of music education at Southern New Hampshire University.

In an email to parents, Lonergan described Martin as a cherished member of the school family. This week, the auditorium at Campbell High School was open for anyone wishing to gather and grieve.

“When we return to school, we will have a plan for students who may experience difficulty, and we will also discuss how we can honor Phil’s memory here at CHS,” the email said.

The local school board shared an online post stating that Litchfield lost a legend this week.

“Rest easy, Mr. Martin. We are forever grateful for the beautiful music and life lessons you brought to our Campbell High community,” wrote the school board.

Martin previously received the U.S. Department of Education American Stars of Teaching Award, and he had been a member of the National Association for Music Education, New Hampshire Music Educators Association, the National Education Association and the New Hampshire Arts Alliance.

In an online tribute to Martin, several local residents expressed their sorrow and thanks to a man who contributed so much to music and the local arts scene.

“Litchfield lost a valued teacher today … He was an amazing man who inspired his students, many of whom went into music because of him,” wrote Janet Oberti of Litchfield.

Others described him as a vital part of the high school from its very inception.

“He was such a great influence on so many people and definitely had a huge impact on my life. He will be missed dearly,” posted Jason Hamblett.