Silver Spirit Class reunion on June 1

  • Posted: 5/5/2013 10:46 AM
    6/1/2013 5:50 PM

Plans are in place for a June 1 multiclass reunion, focusing on Chuck Deen’s legacy at Silver Bluff High School.

Deen, now the director of bands at North Augusta, directed Silver Spirit, Silver Bluff’s marching band, from 1991 to 2004, and he is to be the featured guest in a gathering at Woodside Plantation Country Club in Aiken. The event is to run from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Invited are “Silver Spirit alumni, volunteers and band parents” from 1991 through 2004.

Some of Deen’s former “Bluff” students commented on their years with him.

“Looking back on it, it was pretty incredible, what we were able to accomplish in such a fast amount of time from when he got there,” said Lexington resident Travis Arbaugh, a trombone player who graduated in 1995.

The year before Deen’s arrival, the band did not march competitively. In the third year of his “reign,” as one student described it, the band had placed second in the state. Among the highlights were state titles in 1997 and 1998.

“None of that would have happened without him,” Arbaugh said. “I mean, no doubt.”

Eureka resident Becky Rosier, a 2007 graduate who played saxophone, said, “Silver Spirit is such a wonderful organization, because it really is a home away from home for a lot of the kids that are in it.”

She described Deen as being one among leaders with “ambition ... so strong you can see it in their eyes,” and with the ability to convey it. “His ambition and his passion went to his students, because we knew in the end, at the end of the season, it would be worth it, and the tears would be happy tears.”

Tara Smith, an alto saxophone player and 1994 graduate now living in Warrenville, recalled 1991, Deen’s first year, when the band placed 10th in the state competition.

“It was last place, but it was the best feeling in the world,” noted Smith, who also served the band in 1993-94 as drum major. “We accomplished something, versus being losers. The new guy, Chuck Deen, made us winners. Winning meant more than a trophy or a newspaper write-up. It was a feeling of accomplishment. We were able to hold our heads up high and be proud of ourselves.”

Admission to the reunion is $40 per person or $75 per couple, with features listed as dinner, music, dancing, cash bar and reminiscing. The registration deadline is May 20. Details are at www.silverspiritreunion.com.