Daily Star photo/CRAIG HAUPERT Brandywine High School band members, from left, Joyce Olsen, Alexandria Woods, Amanda Zindrick, Brittany Coder and Deondre Croom will play in the District 6 Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association’s All Star Band Concert Saturday. Bethany Tomasino, not pictured, will also play in the concert.

Archived Story

A musical tribute to the Tarwackis

Published 9:33pm Thursday, November 17, 2011

John and Carolyn Tarwacki, a Niles couple murdered in their home in Feb. 2010, will not only live on in the memories of their friends and family, they will also live on in a new piece

Carolyn and John Tarwacki

of music titled, “Jubilee.”
Composed by Michigan native James Curnow, the piece was commissioned by the District 6 Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association in memory of the Tarwackis.
The world premiere of “Jubilee” will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Edwardsburg Performing Arts Center. It will be conducted by Curnow and performed by the District 6 MSBOA All Star Band.
“It is a lasting tribute to them and something that will be played all over the country,” said Phil Huff, District 6 MBOA president. “It is a really great, living piece of music.”
More than 100 students from high schools in southwestern Michigan make up the All Star Band, including students from Brandywine, Buchanan, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Niles.
Sarah Bopp, Brandywine band director, said the idea for commissioning a piece in memory of the Tarwackis came during a meeting of the District 6 band directors.
Carolyn Tarwacki was very involved in the area’s music community. She was a music store representative for several schools, providing instruments, instrument repairs and advice to those in band programs.
“She would sit and talk with us every week. She cared so much that she would stay after and help the students,” said Bopp, who played alongside Carolyn in the Southwestern Michigan College brass band. “She was a good friend.”
Carolyn Tarwacki was well known for playing the euphonium and “Jubilee” contains a euphonium solo.
“It gives the feeling that she could be playing it right there,” Bopp said.
Police have yet to solve the Tarwacki case.
“I feel like we are at least doing something for them now, even if we can’t figure out what happened,” Bopp said.

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