'Thank you' stickers appear around Londonderry for retiring music teacher Andy SoucyBy CHRIS GAROFOLO
Union Leader Correspondent March 16. 2018 9:29PM
LONDONDERRY — Former music students and their parents are funding a sticker campaign thanking iconic Londonderry band director Andy Soucy for his decades of service at the town’s high school.
Stickers saying “Thanks Mr. Soucy … and we had a Good Time!” are quickly appearing around town — on car bumpers, office doors and especially on instrument cases — to honor Soucy, who announced last month he will retire at the end of the school year. The secondary tagline, “and we had a Good Time!” is a play on a well-known phrase to his band students.
Soucy has led the LHS music department since the 1970s, turning the program into a nationwide leader and one of the most well-traveled high school bands in the country during his tenure.
He produced what many call Londonderry’s greatest export — the Marching Lancers — and built a source of community pride in the process.
“There’s so much respect and support for Andy,” said Bob Saur, who previously served as president of the parent-led Friends of Music organization in Londonderry. Saur has helped produce several thousand stickers and distribute them to a variety of businesses around town.
The stickers, free of charge, are a way to let Londonderry show its love for him, Saur added.
“Everybody that I’ve given one to has been very, very positive; sharing some great stories about kids and experience in the band,” Saur said.
“I know this is probably not a comfort area for him, to be receiving the recognition himself because he’s always been about putting the students and their performances first, but when you retire, I think it’s an appropriate time for people to think about the impact of your career,” he continued. “I think this is just a small way to show the breadth of support and how many people respect what he did and how successful his career has been.”
Soucy quietly made his resignation known during the Feb. 20 meeting of the Londonderry School Board. While not present, he was given a standing ovation by the board members, administrators and town residents who were in attendance.
During his 46-year tenure with the school, the Lancers marching band has performed at both inaugurations for former President Barack Obama, at the Great Wall of China in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics, at college football bowl games in Florida and at countless parades in New York City, Boston and across New Hampshire. His most high-profile trips are the five to Pasadena, Calif., for the annual Tournament of Roses Parade.