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By BETH ZUMWALT
Paul and Doris Rosene lived in Pittsfield from1957-1967 and were the heart of the music programs.
During that time, friendships were forged among band members and four of those former students/ still friends,have joined forces to establish an endowment fund that will deliver, in perpetuity, annual funds to pay for actives of band students Pittsfield High School who have a financial need.
Cheryl Gaffney Allen, Class of 1963 is of Roseville, John Geisendorger, Class of 65 is in North Carolina,John Borrowman,Class of 1967 is in Tennessee and Dr.Larry Mays, Class of 1966 is in Colorado.
The four meet often,via Zoom, and after the death of Doris Rosene last year, decided to raise funds to establish the fund within the parameters of the Community Foundation that serves West Central Illinois and Northeastern Missouri.
“We discussed a scholarship but decided not to go that way because only one person would benefit and we felt there would be years when no band member would be interested in becoming a music teacher,” Gaffney-Allen, said.” We want more than one person to benefit. There are many needy students at Pittsfield High School. The size of the band is around half the size it was when we on the steering committee went to school.”With that in mind, the committee is asking for instruments to be donated to the 5th grade band program with the hope that more students would be able to join if an instrument were available. “We’re hoping our fund money could pay for an individual’s instrument repair, uniform cleaning, entry fees for solo contest etc,”Gaffney-Alen said. “In addition we’re asking for memories , stories, experiences etc from these band memories so I can make a memory book to present to Dr. Rosene.”
Donors can contribute via credit card at https://www.mycommunityfoundation.org/dr-paul-and-doris-rosene-band-fund, or by check payable to Rosene Fund and mailed to Community Foundation, 4531 Maine Street, Suite A, Quincy, 62305After his time in Pittsfield, Dr. Rosene accepted a position at Illinois State University where he did significant work in music therapy. He also became known, nationally, for his work with bell choirs. In 1990, the Rosenes retired to Orlando, Fla. Doris Rosene passed away in August 2020. At age 91, Dr. Rosene remains active at his home in Orlando and plays trumpet in his church band.Rosen frequently joins the four former students on their Zoom calls.“He’s 91, but you wouldn’t know it,” Gaffney-Allen said.