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Tribute will honor the late director of the Old Bridge Concert Band

BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

OLD BRIDGE — Joseph Kaschak poured his heart and soul into the Old Bridge Concert Band, as well as his students.

It is only fitting the very music program that he began many years ago is holding a free memorial concert for Kaschak, who passed away last July at the age of 86.

The concert will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on June 11 at the Carl Sandburg Middle School, 3439 Route 516, Old Bridge, which is the former site of the high school.

“His students had a tremendous amount of respect for him,” said Joseph Walter, conductor of the Old Bridge Concert Band. “In addition to music, Joe was always eager to share a fact, a related story and so much more. The students referred to this as life lessons.”

Walter said Kaschak was an avid reader and eager to pass any newfound knowledge onto his students.

“Joe always took the time to teach more,” he said. “He taught for 40 years. That is a lot of knowledge passed on to so many. We knew that the many [students] would embrace a tribute to Joe.”

Kaschak was a music teacher in the Old Bridge school system for 31 years before retiring in 1991. He also served as band director at Brookdale Community College for 40 years. He was a member of the New Jersey Education Association and the Musicians Local.

Walter said after retiring, Kaschak continued his legacy directing the Old Bridge Concert Band.

“He poured his heart and soul into it as well as a few more life lessons,” he said. “After he passed away, we all agreed to keep the band going, and to create a musical tribute to him that we knew he’d be proud of.”

Kaschak began the instrumental music program at the then-Madison Township High School and has influenced the lives of thousands of students.

The concert will feature some of Kaschak’s favorite selections, solo performances and a slideshow commemorating his life.

For more information, contact Joe Walter at jjjw@bellatlantic.net.

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