Lafayette

Apr 11, 2013 6:55 PM by Chris Welty

Community Mourns Loss of Asst. Band Director

The community is mourning the loss of a long time musician and educator.

For thirty-six years, Dr. Gerald Waguespack taught band in the public school system, touching the lives of thousands of students.

"He stayed in it because he loved it, he loved working with students, he loved working with music and he loved helping people become music educators," said UL's Pride of Acadiana Director, Brian Taylor.

That love of music drew Waguespack out of retirement. In 2007, he filled in, temporarily directing UL's Pride of Acadiana.

"He was such a great help that, that semester he was to help ended up being six years," said Taylor.

Waguespack became UL's Assistant Band Director. In his spare time, he also performed with Lafayette's Concert Band. His history with Band Director, Gerald Guilbeaux goes back more than 40 years. They were both high school band directors and had a friendly rivalry.

"Persevering and striving for excellence was Gerry's forte and he taught that and instilled that in those students," said Guilbeaux.

UL Band student, Ahmi Atsina says, "He would challenge us in ways that we haven't been challenged before; as many of the professors do here, but he had his own special way of doing it and we all just picked up on it."

For many, Waguespack was the heart of the Pride of Acadiana and he always knew how to lighten the mood.

"When we've been outside for hours, Dr. Wag would come out and help lift the mood to get everyone going again," said Eric Boyett.

Those who knew Dr. Waguespack agree, the music community has suffered a great loss.

A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 10:00 Friday morning at St. Basil Catholic Church in Duson.

Waguespack was 63-years-old.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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