Rosemary Bird was honored at the end of the choir pop concert on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the Kenai Central High School Auditorium in Kenai, Alaska. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Rosemary Bird was honored at the end of the choir pop concert on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at the Kenai Central High School Auditorium in Kenai, Alaska. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

A Farewell to Mrs. Bird

The Kenai Middle School choir bid a fond farewell to choir teacher Rosemary Bird on Thursday, April 27 in the Kenai Central High School Auditorium during the choir pop concert.

The auditorium was full of students, teachers and families celebrating a career that dates back to 1988, when Bird first started her teaching career at Kenai Middle School.

“It’s been a pleasure beyond description, a great blessing to me and an honor that you let me do what I love to do,” Bird said at the concert’s closing, after her colleagues paid tribute to her through renditions of songs from “The Sound of Music.”

During the concert, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade choir classes performed a selection of pop songs, followed by individual performances.

“There were several students tonight who performed for the first time and it makes me happy that way. I don’t care if they have experience or not, I’m very happy when I see someone up here for the first time,” Bird said.

The students and audience were happy to see Bird on stage for the last time, but sad to see her go.

“We love Mrs. Bird. She’s patient with us. She doesn’t get mad, well sometimes when the boys are acting up, but she knows how to make learning fun,” eighth-grader Raelynn Passe said.

“My favorite part of choir is the end of class, when the bell rings and we sing the song while we go to our next class. Mrs. Bird keeps playing the piano and it’s special,” said eighth-grader Memphis Lyon.

Throughout the show, Bird guided the students during each song. She stood before the large group performances, conducting the students, and helped the individual performers set up and guide them through any forgotten lyrics or false starts.

“The moment that means the most to me… is suddenly when students start hearing their own voice in a way they never had before, and you can see the look on their face. I say to them, it’s okay to fall in love with your voice. It really is, because that is a very personal part of you,” Bird said. “It’s been a pleasure beyond description, a great blessing to me and an honor that you let me do what I love to do.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at kat.sorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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