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Three of Napa High School's music men pictured together are band directors Mike Riendeau (2009-present), Harry Cadelago (1993-2009) and William B. Crane Jr. (1958-1993). 

Submitted photo

I have lived in many regions across the United States, Southern California, the Midwest, the East Coast and from the northern latitudes to the tropical southernmost point of the U.S. Napa is a very special place. Its history is unique to the region and unusual for this state.

Napa is its own zone and has been preserved and cherished by its locals. Also cherished and preserved is the music history in Napa surrounding Napa High School.

Often, we use the term “thread” in music as a way to follow a line of music or a phrase, a gesture, a motif, a pedagogical line of teachers to students or even just an artistic endeavor. That “thread” or “vine” here in Napa of music history blossomed with a half century of instruction by William Crane and Harry Cadelago. I continued this thread, following “Mr. C” as director of instrumental music at Napa High when he retired in 2009.

The “big growth spurt” moment for music at Napa High School really begins with William Crane who started at Napa High School in 1958 and taught music at Napa High for 35 years. He set the achievement bar incredibly high, celebrating many Unanimous Superiors and California Music Educators Association Directors awards.

He was well known throughout the Bay Area to music directors and inspired many students to bloom as amazing musicians of their own. His students are all around you today as parents, grandparents, and professional musicians all around the country. We lost William Crane in 2015 but his spirit is still right here in the band room.

The Napa High School Instrumental Music Department presents its Mid-May concert on Thursday, May 17, at 6 p.m. Performing will be the String Orchestra, Concert Band, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Band, NHS String Quintet, Drumline, Colorguard, Napa Sax, NHS Flute Ensemble Agustin & Brass 14, NHS Clarinet Choir and the UC Chamber Strings.

The concert takes place in the District Auditorium, 2425 Jefferston St., Napa. Tickets are $15.

I invite the community to join us in celebrating the rich legacy of music that has been created at Napa High.

Mike Riendeau is the leader of the band at Napa High School.