Photo By: Courtesy of Mary Feliz
After 35 years as Mountain View High’s music director, Robin Kramer will retire this month. Current and former students and colleagues have scheduled a number of events in her honor.
Robin Kramer, Mountain View High School’s first female music director, plans to retire May 31 after more than three decades on the job. Alumni, current students, colleagues and co-workers have scheduled a series of events to honor her contributions to music, education and the community.
Kramer, who began her career at Mountain View High in 1978, founded the marching band, established the orchestral music program and built a department that today comprises 11 instrumental music classes.
The following three events are slated to mark Kramer’s retirement.
• Jazz Festival in the Quad, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Mountain View High, 3535 Truman Ave. Community and alumni musicians from Awalt and Mountain View high schools are invited to attend and play at 3 p.m. alongside current students under Kramer’s direction.
• Open House, 2-5 p.m. June 29 at the home of Janet and Bob Trabucco, 1300 Ranchita Drive, Los Altos. Alumni, colleagues and students are invited to celebrate Kramer’s retirement.
Many current and former students credit Kramer with inspiring them not only musically, but also in their personal and professional lives.
“Without music and Robin Kramer, I would have very likely dropped out of high school,” said Michael Feliz, Class of 2011, now a student at University of the Pacific double majoring in computer science and computer engineering. “Robin treats all her students like the adults and leaders she believes we will become. She gave us responsibilities and trust that taught us to be responsible and trustworthy.”
Twin brothers Dave and James Codeglia, Class of 1999, agreed. Now working at Bad Robot Productions and their own production company, Ghostlight, the filmmakers said the skills they learned from Kramer are essential to their work.
“Combining music and visuals requires an understanding of rhythm, phrasing and theory, all of which we learned at Mountain View High School with Robin,” they said. “But Robin’s real strength isn’t just teaching, it’s in the warm and loving atmosphere she creates in her classroom. She truly changed our lives, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she saved the lives of more than a few students over the years.”
Eleanor Gerrior, a sophomore at Mountain View High, plays three instruments in three different bands and credits her interest in music to a preschool field trip to Kramer’s classroom in 2001, when she was allowed to conduct the high school’s Wind Ensemble.
“Robin always makes me feel good about myself and about music,” Gerrior said.
Kramer’s admirers extend beyond her students. She frequently receives kudos from parents, neighbors, colleagues and the community at large. In March, the Wind Ensemble received Command Performance recognition at the Pacific Rim Music Festival and performed at the historical Hawaii Theater in Honolulu. Two other Mountain View High music ensembles, the Chamber Orchestra led by Jason Kneebone and the A Cappella Choir led by Jill Denny, received similar recognition.
The Disney American Teacher Award for Performing Arts in 1992 is among the many professional awards Kramer has earned during her tenure.