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2023 Founders' Day Ceremony Honors JB Trost, Former Music Director

Former Faculty Member JB Trost was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Monday, September 18, 2023, during the Founders’ Day ceremony. The morning kicked off with members of the Middle School Choir and Upper School Vocal Ensemble singing the school's alma mater after Margaret G. '27 performed a violin solo.

Interim Associate Head of School Ellen Crow opened with remarks about Mr. Trost's impact on CSS:

Today, we shine a spotlight on an individual whose dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment have left an indelible mark on our school and the lives of countless students. JB Trost, a name synonymous with excellence in music education, arrived at CSS in 1973, and from that moment forward, the harmonious spirit of our school has been forever transformed.

JB’s contributions to CSS's music department have been nothing short of extraordinary. Under his tutelage, our music program was created, inspiring young minds to discover the beauty of melody and the power of harmony. Through his tireless efforts, countless students have found their voices and unlocked their musical potential, exceeding the boundaries of their own expectations.

One of JB's most notable achievements was the creation of the Girls' Glee Club, a group of talented young women, some of whom are sitting in this very room with us today, whose voices blended in perfect unison under his guidance. During JB’s tenure, the Girls’ Glee Club was invited to perform alongside the Colorado Springs Symphony for the Nutcracker Ballet. This achievement and experience is a testament to JB's ability to nurture talent and create unforgettable experiential education for his students.

JB’s commitment extended far beyond the confines of our school's campus. He generously shared his love for music with the wider community, taking the Girls' Glee Club on tours to schools in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, spreading the joy of music to new audiences, and forging connections that transcended state borders.

But JB's contributions to CSS went beyond the realm of music. He was an integral part of the school's fabric, chaperoning CSS interim trips (similar to our current Experience-Centered Seminars) to Venice, Florence, Austria, and Germany. These journeys were transformative experiences for our students, broadening their horizons and deepening their understanding of the world. JB's presence and guidance on these trips enriched the lives of those who had the privilege of traveling with him.

JB Trost's legacy at CSS is not just a testament to his musical prowess; it is a testament to the transformative power of dedicated educators who inspire, encourage, and shape the futures of young minds. His impact extends beyond the classroom and the stage, touching the hearts of generations of

CSS students who continue to carry his teachings and passion with them into the world.

Upper School Students Tristan K. '26 and Keeton V. '26 performed their rendition of "Careless Whisper."

Elizabeth Smith-Rosenbloom, CSS alumna from the Class of ‘74 and a former student of Trost, spoke about Mr. Trost's legacy:

JB Trost, we are so thrilled to honor you tod
ay! You were such a great influence on my decision to become a Choral Director and Music Educator. I want to share some of the ways JB sought to "make musicians" of us.

We begin in the year 1973 when JB came to CSS as our Music Director. It was an amazing time here at our school for a number of reasons, one of which was because our teachers lived on campus and were our dorm parents. Imagine a sizeable group of teenage girls away from home and navigating their world with just each other and a set of young couples not much older than we were. We were allowed to share many aspects of our teachers' lives as we were all in the community.

My younger sister, Alex, lived in Pourtales, and we were very close. I would walk from Donner to Pourtales to see her and would often see JB and Hela with their then-little ones, Jenny and Ryan. I was in our CSS Glee Club and had been cast in the FVS/CSS musicals during my junior and senior years. I sang constantly, and I still do! JB picked up on this and would sit down with me at the piano in the dorm, open up scores and songbooks of his favorite music and we would sing all afternoon! It was cathartic for me as I was generally very studious and focused on whatever I chose to do in high school. Music was my haven - my safe and happy place.

JB would set up concert trips for us to all go to Denver to see the amazing performers who appeared in a huge venue. We saw Bob Dylan and Marlene Dietrich, Cat Stevens, and others who exhibited their talents and made a lifetime impression on me. After the concerts, we had an assignment to write about and critique what we saw and felt at these performances. We attended ten concerts alone in my senior year, which was the foundation for
my college work of attending 40 concerts a year! (40 times 4 = 160 or more!)

JB spearheaded trips to perform at other schools, which gave us exposure to other

locales besides CSS. These trips were not just great learning experiences but opportunities to socialize and to meet other kids our age. (even boys!) These are such great memories I have carried with me for a lifetime! JB also introduced us to the recorder, a lovely little wind instrument that enabled us to read music beyond our vocal music. As an elementary educator, I taught recorders for almost 30 years and I wanted to provide my students with the same opportunity I had in JB's class here at CSS. JB, I have to share that I now have hearing devices due to the lovely sounds my students tried to make over those 30 years with their recorders. Although there were some truly lovely sounds!

JB was also involved in the Colorado Springs music community, serving as the tenor section leader

with a local choir that practiced at Colorado College. I attended rehearsals with this group and was aware of how much he was respected for his knowledge and expertise in music. As a Choral Director, I know that a good tenor is hard to find, which made JB a great commodity.

Not only would we study and sing great choral compositions but we had a "sight reading" book we used to do our sight reading vocal exercises. The ability to sight read is in the wheelhouse of anyone who calls themselves a good singer and the model that J.B. provided us is part of my vocal coaching every lesson every week. I feel certain that my brain will thank me as I grow older as these exercises are central to synapse connections that keep my brain agile, so thank you, JB.

I know that I speak for all your students whose lives you touched and whose hearts were open to the power of music - to enhance our days, to lift us up in times of difficulty, in my case to create a lifelong career and to live out this quote from my CSS yearbook senior page by Sydney Smith: "Music is the only innocent and unpunished passion." My deepest thanks to you, JB.

Mrs. Smith-Rosenbloom and alumna Laurie Waalkes '79 then led the audience in a performance of "Your Song," followed by Mrs. Crow presenting Mr. Trost with the award. "Thank you, JB, for your service to The Colorado Springs School and to your students," Mrs. Crow said. "Your legacy lives on daily in our music classes and your passion and dedication exemplify the qualities of a CSS teacher."

Mr. Trost and his guests enjoyed a light breakfast in the Trianon while they shared memories.