Honoring Susan Ellington

Thanks to the efforts of Goshen High School orchestra directors Jay Pfeifer and Sean Patrick, GHS Symphonic Orchestra students were able to leave school today, to visit and perform for former GHS orchestra director, Susan Ellington. According to Mr. Pfeifer, Susan “took over the Orchestra program in the late 90’s and grew it from one class of 30 kids into the big 150 person high school orchestra program that we have today”. Susan has been dealing with ongoing health issues since her retirement, and the students and directors wanted to honor her by giving her the gift of their music.

The students played five musical selections in various small ensembles, read poetry which acknowledged her contribution to them as their teacher and mentor, and presented her with flowers and hugs. The students involved included: Nathan Berkey, Hugh Birky, Emily Brown, Sergei Culp, Mackenzie Gracie Edmonds, Cade Fisher, Maggie Gallagher, Caroline Greaser, Matthew Herrmann, Katie Herschberger, Amy Holbrook, Greta Klassen, Claire Penner, Ariana Perez Diener, Matthew Roth, Katie Shirk, Olivia Thomas, and Noel Zak.

Their written program included this poem:

We Have Made Music

 Isn’t there a kind of sample brotherhood in the making of music?

Just a sample, under conditions that are transitory.

But one which might grow if it could be remembered and nurtured?

 Making music together is hard work that is fun.

Making music together creates a kind of brotherhood where failure is everybody’s loss.

Where success is a victory for all, where differences and inherited beliefs have no relevance.

We create a new world for a few moments; we are for a time in pastures green…

and remembering, wish the world could be like that, forever.


After enjoying the beautiful musical offering, Susan thanked the students and told them how much their visit and their music meant to her. She encouraged them to “keep music in your hearts, and keep making music”.

It was a meaningful morning for Susan, her family members, GHS teachers and students, and others who gathered to hear the music.

Susan, you have nurtured an orchestra program and planted seeds in the hearts of many who love music. The roots in your orchestra program are strong, and your students will continue to play on.

Thank you, from the many who love and care for you in the Goshen Community Schools family.