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Thursday June 18th, 2015

Posted at 11:23am

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Photos by Melissa Taylor

Carrying a surprise tune, current students and past graduates thanked a special teacher for the music.

Last night, Holy Names classmates and alumni returned to honour their retiring music teacher. After more than 30 years, Mrs. Rose Jobin was given a surprised during an open house to commemorate her time at the school. Students were there to thank her for everything she’s done in and out of the classroom.

Showing how much she meant to them, the response for the idea was overwhelming.

“I was greatly effected by Mrs. Jobin throughout my years at Holy Names and after,” said past graduate and event organizer, Toni Bruner. “I knew I was not the only one who wanted to give her the goodbye she deserved when she finally decided to retire. I was thinking about this back in 2004 when we first got word that she was retiring then. Now that it is actually happening, I used the power of social media and in only 24 hours received hundreds of messages of people wanting to participate in one way or another.”

This fittingly took shape in the form of a song, as over 100 past and current students performed Abba’s Thank You For The Music. While only rehearsing together once on June 14, this choir learned the chorus on their own too. Those who couldn’t make it also took part in a different way: Many sent photos and videos for Mrs. Jobin to look at after the open house.

Several students have the teacher to thank for much of their success. Amy Rivard lives in New York City while performing full-time and Janine LeClair did the same in Australia before relocating to Nashville. Perhaps the most locally well-known graduate of Holy Names’ music program however is Daniel Victor of Neverending White Lights: Both he and LeClair made special trips to attend the event.

Showing signs with the year they graduated during the song, alumni from Mrs. Jobin’s first to last classes were represented. It was a reminder of the impact she’s had on her students.

“She LOVES each and every student,” said Bruner. “She wants them to succeed so badly. When you commit to any extra activity in school, you imagine you will spend time together but Mrs. Jobin made you feel like you were a part of her family. She helped you see that you were so talented – whether you were a soloist or played one of the instruments in band. Passion is so personal but she brought that out of you.”

This passion also led to many accomplishments. Putting together several national-winning choirs and concert bands, Mrs. Jobin’s students have competed in Europe, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Disneyworld and several North American cities.

Beyond travelling for these competitions, Mrs. Jobin has put together several pit orchestras for Holy Names and different community groups across Windsor-Essex County as well. Her talents were also featured prominently when Foreigner invited her to perform in concert with them on two separate occasions.

Although her family came to celebrate, keeping the surprise wasn’t difficult. While Mrs. Jobin’s children and grandchildren knew, the teacher isn’t a big fan of the internet and avoids social media. This allowed the details to be easily worked out.

Still, Bruner is thankful to those who helped her organize the special send off.

“Mrs. Kim Gosling at Holy Names and the open house committee were a huge help at the school,” she said. “They were really great in letting us come in to give her this surprise.”

For those who haven’t met Mrs. Jobin, Bruner stressed that her dedication has had an impact on many students. She considers herself to be in this group as well.

“The one thing I want people to know about Mrs. Jobin is that I truly believe she has changed the lives of her students,” said Bruner. “Whether it is in a small way – maybe just the way they work or how dedicated they are to something, or in a big way – the fact that they have pursued music or teaching professionally. Each student still remembers their time fondly and wants the best for her.”

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