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Scholarship honors memory of music teacher


MANCHESTER — A year after Richard Maynard, a popular retired West High music educator, passed away, he is being remembered through words and by scholarships.

His wife, Muriel, said she was surprised when more than 600 people attended her husband's wake last August following his death Aug. 18 after a brief illness.

"I never knew how much he touched people," she said last week, noting some former students came from as far away as California to attend.

Mr. Maynard began his teaching career at Merrimack High School in 1969 as director of music. In 1975, he became the director of choirs at Manchester High School West, where he taught until he retired in 2004.

Former Mayor Bob Baines, a longtime principal at West, marveled at Maynard's talents.

"I was in awe of his ability to work with students and really help students to really mature with their voices," said Baines, a longtime friend. "To see the talent he was able to nurture is absolutely phenomenal."

On the first anniversary of her death, Mrs. Maynard penned a poem, mentioning "T-SAX," her husband's longtime license plate. The tenor saxophone was his preferred instrument.

"He was so full of life," she said in an interview.

Today, she oversees the Richard J. Maynard Music Scholarship Fund, which has raised nearly $20,000 so far, including $8,000 from a December concert and silent auction.

Two West students — Meghan Gallagher and Mikaela Aherrera — recently received $500 scholarships from the fund to attend the Summer Youth Music School at the University of New Hampshire.

Mrs. Maynard said he would be pleased to see other students helped financially so they can pursue their musical dreams.

"Music was everything for him," she said.

Baines said Mrs. Maynard hopes other students can flourish.

"She wants to make a difference with kids who might not have the opportunity to discover their talent or nurture their talents and be successful like her husband did in music," Baines said.

Donations can be made to the scholarship fund through Centrix Bank, 1 Atwood Lane, Bedford 03110.

mcousineau@unionleader.com

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