Mike DuFour, former Beyer HS Director, passes away

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Mike DuFour, former Beyer HS Director, passes away

Post by JCYS » Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:08 pm

Former Beyer HS Band Director Mike DuFour passed away this weekend from the flu that everyone has read so much about.

Mike was director at Beyer HS for 5 years, and had been director at Merced HS.
He left the profession to become a Modesto HS police officer. He judged occasionally for the NCBA.

Mike was 32. He leaves a wife and baby daughter. If you are interested in contributing to a fund set up for his daughter, you may do so at:

Rachel DuFour
Modesto POA
1300 G St, Suite 200
Modesto, CA 95354

an article appeared in the Modesto Bee at:
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/78967 ... 5009c.html

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Post by Wildabeast » Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:16 pm

Sad news for the community of Modesto and the CA band world.

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The Passing of Mike DuFour

Post by airons0678 » Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:29 pm

I'm saddened beyond words...

-Alan Irons

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Post by Shorty41 » Mon Dec 15, 2003 2:59 pm

OMG, thats so sad and he was only 32.. Very sad..
Rubidoux HS: Bass 2~

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Remembering Mike DuFour

Post by airons0678 » Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:19 pm

I did not know Mike DuFour personally. But I knew him via this great invention known as the internet. Mike DuFour was a frequent poster in the rec.arts.marching.band.high-school newsgroup (also known as "RAMB") from 1995-2001. There he shared his knowledge, wit, friendliness, and pride. He posted as the director of the Merced High School Marching Band, the Fred C. Beyer High School Marching Band, and the President of the WSMBC (now the WBA). He had an open mind and had an "open door policy" for those who chose to engage him in usenet or e-mail. I should add that not everyone agreed with his views on band, but students, staff, and educators highly respected him. He was firm in his beliefs, and I admired him for these strong takes. One of my favorite posts from Mike was a response to those who felt electronics had no place in the high school marching band activity.

Mike DuFour wrote:

"I can not stay in the shadows anymore on this one!!!!

WAKE UP! The synth is a viable 20th century musical instrument and adds a
great deal to the sound of the marching band. This includes reinforcing voices
and special effects.

It is a versatile instrument which adds a totally new and exciting dimension to
the musical score. It sounds good! What a TREAT for the audience to be able
to hear the sounds of a string section or a beautiful grand piano on the
marching band field.

If you think that bands use electronics to cover up bad playing...think again.
It is very difficult for a struggling band (the winds) to compete with a
perfect instrument (in tone and intonation) and come out sounding good. This
is most apparent in extreme temperatures as the winds intonation tendancies
clash with the keyboards.

I also believe that using the synths allows for a an ensemble sound of more

In my own writing (I write the show for my band) I will occassionally specify
to the pit writer which parts of the wind score should be covered to add that
depth of sound or special effect I am wanting to achieve.

Mics on the mallet instruments? Of course...to protect the instruments from
damage by using implements which are too hard but allow the instrument to
project outdoors. Ask anyone who is responsible for a percussion budget!

Electronics are here TO STAY in the field of music education and it is only
natural that they become a partner in our instrumental music ensembles.

Mike Du Four :)
Director of Bands
Beyer HS"

For some, Mike DuFour was a voice in terms of credibility for those who did not have one, and for those who did not have one he did not look down on them. He did not post on RAMB much when he left Beyer, but his words are still there from when he was there. I will miss him.

Alan Irons
Fountain Valley High School Marching Band 1993-1996
Pacific Crest of Diamond Bar 1997
Nashua Spartans 1998-1999
UCSB Class of 2002

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