In mem­ory of Mr. Rigney

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Basil Rigney was laid to rest to­day. He was truly a one-of-a-kind ed­u­ca­tor. In Mr. Rigney’s band class, there was no cod­dling, and praise was given only if truly de­served. He had a keen sense of each band mem­ber’s strengths and po­ten­tial, and he was not one to give up eas­ily!

Many sto­ries have been told over the past few days about Mr. Rigney’s some­what fright­en­ing means of get­ting our at­ten­tion. Let me just say that he de­manded re­spect, and he made a lot of us bet­ter peo­ple by mak­ing sure we worked up to our full po­ten­tial.

There are so many mem­o­ries…. Foot­ball games, con­certs, fundrais­ers, com­pe­ti­tions and some pretty tense prac­tice ses­sions, just to name a few.

Mr. Rigney had a pas­sion for mu­sic that was dis­played by his fer­vent at­tempt to get a bunch of high school kids to hear mu­sic the way he did. He had no tol­er­ance for less than per­fect, and I still have a drawer full of “su­pe­rior” All-State rib­bons to prove it.

He for­ever changed my life. He made me re­ally try to be the best I could be, not be­cause I was afraid, but be­cause I knew that my suc­cess re­ally mat­tered to him. I learned more in his band about life than any other class or job I’ve ever had.

You see, Mr. Rigney knew there were win­ners and losers, and he wanted us to be win­ners. We weren’t “pat­ted on the head” for just fill­ing a chair or for a sat­is­fac­tory per­for­mance. He taught his stu­dents that in band, like in life, they must re­ally reach out and try harder for the prize.

I am grate­ful that Mr. Rigney was in my life. I will for­ever re­mem­ber the sounds of his ba­ton hit­ting the top of a mu­sic stand as he led us in lessons of mu­sic and life.

Kim Simons Cook NCHS Class of 1980

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