This past Thursday night, I had yet another outstanding musical experience at Oneonta High School. I have come to expect great concert band performances from these high school students. I have not been disappointed once in the 15 years I have lived in Oneonta and have had children participating in the OHS band program under the direction of Mike DePauw. 

The quality of the music being performed is outstanding for a high school band. The students in the band, including my own children, are immediately inspired by their charismatic band leader to dig deep inside and stretch their musical abilities. It is not that all of these high school students are outstanding musicians. Instead, they all have the extreme good fortune to play an instrument in the Oneonta High School concert band, under the direction of their inspired conductor.

Because of Mr. DePauw’s musical passion, energy, enthusiasm and talent, he has changed the lives of these teenagers. He takes average high school students and transforms them into young men and young women who love music, who have confidence, and know they can tackle very hard things. These are life skills that will remain with them forever. What a marvelous combination to find, a teacher with passion for his subject and the patience and ability to teach and inspire others! Oneonta High School is a better place because Mr. DePauw is there! All the students, including my own children, are better people because of Mr. DePauw.

Robin Jones


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