Remembering our beloved Crusader band leader
For many students here at Brother Martin, Mr. Marty Hurley was known only as “the band director,” “the man who took the attendance slips” or “the guy conducting at Mass.”
But to others, he was more than just a band director. He was a teacher, mentor, friend and, for some students, the reason they came to Brother Martin in the first place.
In my eighth-grade year I decided to take beginner band class, which I now look back on as the best decision I have ever made in my life. I learned more about music from Mr. Hurley in nine weeks than I ever did from years of piano lessons.
Music, especially drumming, was his passion, and he loved sharing it with his students, who are now an international and global community.
He was famous for his technique of playing through the drum and for his grip of pulling his left pinkie back, which he kept doing even in his final days at the hospital.
But music was not all he taught. Mr. Hurley fully embraced the words of Sacred Heart Brother Martin Hernandez: “We are not here to teach boys how to make a living, but how to make a life.”
All of Mr. Hurley’s students were successful not just in music but also in life because of his practical teachings.They would constantly come back to Brother Martin to visit him, thank him for all his wisdom and stick around to listen to what the band was playing that year.
As a member of the band, I was around Mr. Hurley all the time, from private lessons in the mornings before school, to band practice during and after school and even sometimes lessons at his house on weekends and during the summer. Mr. Hurley was always around. He was someone I could depend on. And after 37 years at Brother Martin, I am positive everyone he has ever come across feels the exact same way.
Mr. Hurley will never be gone. He will always live in the music he wrote for our cadences, drum solos and fight song, and he will forever be in our hearts. On Sept. 12, 2011, the world lost a great man. But it is men like Mr. Hurley who make the world great.
Andrew Golden is a senior at Brother Martin High School.