Cheers, tears and 'Star Wars' at musical sendoff

By Andrea Ray | Jun 21, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Rochester Memorial School students wave as they leave on the last day of school.

Rochester — Rochester Memorial School continued its annual celebrations for the last day of school with a jubilant musical sendoff on Wednesday, June 21.

Just before school was due to let out at 12:30 p.m., teachers began to congregate outside the new wing of the school with their musical instruments. A cheer went up as longtime band conductor (and retiring teacher) Danni Kleiman appeared in her traditional coat and tails for one last performance.

Kleiman hopped onto the conductor's stand and led the band of teachers through "When the Saints Come Marching In" as students began to stream out of the school. The music that followed was no doubt popular with the students - among the songs was the theme from "Star Wars."

As final report cards were read and students posed for "last day" photos, yellow school buses packed with excited students appeared. The students slid the school bus windows and waved frantically at the gathered crowd, who waved back.

"See you next year!" the students chorused, no doubt anticipating the summer ahead of them.

Perhaps in recognition of Kleiman's imminent departure, several school buses circled the parking lot five or six times, leading the amused conductor to feign exhaustion.

When the final bus had disappeared, the band played a few more strains before waving off the rest of the students. Kleiman removed her conductor's coat and tails and helped fellow teacher Tracy Talbot into them, pausing to give her a hug.

She then posed for pictures with students as summer plans were immediately put into action; several families discussed plans for beach visits, before driving off in pursuit of sun and sand.

RMS teachers Jim DellaCioppa and Christine Williamson trumpet their joy at the beginning of summer vacation. (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
Teachers Danni Kleiman and Tracy Talbot hug after Kleiman handed her conductor's robes to Talbot. (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
"See you next year!" (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
The good old tradition of "last day" photos continues! (Photo by: Andrea Ray)
(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
(Photo by: Andrea Ray)
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