Saturday, August 8, 2009
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I remember they day they handed out notes when I was in the 4th grade to sign up for the band and went right home and told my mom I wanted to join. We went to the meeting to pick out my instrument and when I said I wanted to play the flute, Mr. Javens suggested I might like the trumpet better. I stuck to my guns though and played the flute for 8 years.
I can remember his foot tapping and head bobbing as we played. And those fun cowboy uniforms. I loved marching in the parades and remember how when we tried to talk Mr. J in to summer uniforms he would remind us that when we marched in the Days of 47 parade we were in competition and had to wear our full uniforms.
I also remember the trip to Magic Mountain my junior year. It was fun. I remember The joke the bus driver played on Mr J. He didn't think it was too funny. (I have pics of some of you on that trip also.)
I learned perseverance and patience from Mr. Javens. It was sometimes difficult for me to learn the right fingering for some of the notes, but I just kept trying and got most of them. (There were still some I had to fake through though.) I also learned that when the teacher gets up in front it is time to get serious.
Thanks Mr. J. Have a Great Birthday.
Happy Birthday! I've often wanted to send my high school teachers notes of thanks because of their great influence on me, and helping me become who I am today, so I will combine that with this note today! Thanks for having a birthday so I can do that :)
First of all I want to say thank you for teaching me so much about music and making it pure fun. You are the reason that I can play the clarinet -- you never charged me for private lessons, you just spent a little extra time with me during summer practices and gave me pointers. It made all the difference between me struggling to learn, and loving to learn to play. And you made everything fun! I never think about keeping the beat without seeing your tapping toe while you led us in the band room.
I don't know if you remember this or not, but when I was in sixth grade, the Jr. High & High School were still together, and you were still in need of band members, so you petitioned the elementary teachers to see if there were any students willing to come to High School band practice and see if they wanted to play in the band. I remember that James Christensen and I went, and I couldn't believe that a sixth grader was actually able to be in a high school band! This is where I first began my love for sports of all sorts, because we played at all the home football and basketball games. I decided that if I was going to be at all those football games, I needed to learn the sport. So my Dad taught me the game, and I loved each and every ball game that we went to from that day through my Senior year.
One of my first memories of going with the band was being getting to go with the band to St. George to perform. My parents weren't too keen on letting a junior high kid go with a high school band out of town. So you talked to them, and promised that you and your wife would personally take good care of me. And you did! I felt pretty important getting to hang out with you two, eat lunch with you, etc. Thanks for caring so much for your students, even the beginners.
My favorite memories of band include my 8th grade year when GHS went to the State Championships in football and basketball. I remember freezing at some of the playoff games when it was snowing and so bitter cold. Someone felt a little sorry for us dedicated band members and bought us all hot chocolate! I'm sure you had something to do with that! But cold or not, the band always played "Here Comes the King", and many other great fight songs, and that contributed to the fun of that year. That year, the basketball team took the championship in basketball. I can remember driving back on the band bus and coming around the point of the mountain by the Great Salt Lake and seeing the steady stream of vehicles and busses going from Lake Point on into Grantsville. You said that as soon as we hit Main Street we could start playing, and we opened our windows as soon as we got into town and started playing. Our band was a huge part of the school spirit at GHS, and that is because of your great leadership.
I loved the enthusiam with which you taught us our music, and I still have an intense love for music to this day. You are a very big part of that. I appreciate all the songs you taught us -- there was a great variety, and I loved it. Every time I hear "Smoke on the Water", and any John Philip Sousa fight song, I can see you leading us!
Some other favorite memories I have are of performing for the Old Folks Sociable in the high school auditorium (before it burned down). I loved the feeling that was felt by all as we came down both aisles booming loud, and seeing all the people stand up and appreciate what we were playing. In that little space, we sounded really big. It was great. Another fabulous memory was marching at Rice Stadium in a competition. You practiced us hard in Grantsville, and we were so glad when we got to that huge stadium and saw so many other great bands performing. I loved the trips to St. George! They were looked forward to all year!
Last of all, thanks for your great smile and words of encouragement. You made every time we performed seem special! I remember when I was a Senior, and was so busy, and we were supposed to get out of class early to get ready for a pep assembly. I asked you if I could miss it because I had so many things to do that day. You reminded me of the times the band had supported me in my athletics, and asked me just to come as long as I could, so I could show my support to whoever this assembly was for. It taught me a lesson. It also taught me that you had compassion for me because you let me go early. You are a teacher through and through.
For all you have done for me, my family and Grantsville, thanks so very much. I truly love you, and wish you the best birthday ever!!!
Mary Lynn (Thornton)Riggs
GHS Class of 1983
Band trip - I remember going to magic mountain, CA. we weren't in the best hotel, so we snuck into another hotel to swim.
And i remember doing the 24th of july parade, and we marched in the hottest uniforms, out of date, but we still marched and were great.
I sat with Christina Lopez, when we weren't seperated for being too noisy. We of course had all the Butchers around, and sat by Amy Butcher because she was a flute player too.
she was an older player and i got to hang out.
Happy Birthday, Mr. Javens!
He also taught:
--maybe some others???
Schools he taught at:
G-ville 4th of July
Tooelle 4th of July
Days of 47 Parade in SLC (I think thats the name)
Old Folks Sociable
Basketball / Football games
And of course marching around town all summer long
June 13 at 4:13pm
i agree, shane. He brought class, dignity, and talent and respect to our town, to the school, and to us as individuals. He taught me so many things. so many lessons that i used outside the music room. Whatever you do, do big. He said that to me when i was in 5th grade, you know. i was so afraid to make a mistake that i wasn't putting in my best effort. i didn't want to be embarrassed. he walked up to our row of trumpets and said, "if you are always worried what people think of you, you will be at the mercy of people who are easily distracted, easily swayed, and aren't worth the effort. So whatever you do, do big. Mistakes are meant to be dealt with so you can get better. Successes are meant to be shared." He looked at me in the eye, smiled a bit, and said, "don't be afraid of mistakes. they make you better. and who knows? if you shoot for that high note, you might just make it and sound great."
He went back to his place in front and said, "lets take it from the top." And that was it.
I think he knew that all we needed was being believe in, and direction. Our talents would manifest as a result. We never had to be given assignments to take home, i don't think. or at least i didn't. It just became part of my life. when i wasn't practicing with him, i was thinking about how to improve. I would think about how to transpose whatever i would hear into workable pieces to play. He instilled in me .....purpose. And purpose in the small town was key for me. It was my purpose, and intimate and mine. He created a vision that i bought into. We COULD be great, so I wanted to live up to that greatness. I brought my 100%, and i saw that my classmates did too. sometimes we were good, sometimes we weren't, but we were held to that 100% standard, and he would let us know when we didn't show it.
I never worried that he would yell or cuss at us. But it would be horribly the thought of him being DISAPPOINTED in us. OR, Gulp, ME...
I don't know that it was like that for everyone, but i do see that he found each student's positive buttons. the "How to be even better" button that we each had. He could be stern, or funny. Whatever got me to that next level.
I could tell the adults he allowed into our space (the band booster club, the bus drivers, the chaperones....) bought into his teaching style too. They automatically brought the "you are enough to be more than you think" attitude with them. Some had shorter tempers than others. but they were all there because they wanted to be. -Sharon Thornton Montgomery "I had mr. javens as a teacher from 1983 through 1991"
June 13 at 3:19pm
Bryan Delaney and I remember the first trip to Disneyland in 1985. We practiced real hard and were the second high school marching band to perform in Disneyland. On our last day in California we were late going to Sandiego due to everyone deciding to throw Mr Javens in the swimming pool. After that the whole group ended up in the Pool. Mr Javens stayed in the pool while everyone else got dry. The second time in Disneyland in 1987 we were performing a stage show when Minnie Mouse kicked him off the stage and directed our stage performance. He had the respect from all he taught in the band where some even came after they graduated and helped in parades during the summer. No other director would allow 8th graders to help provide music in a high school band like he did. He fought to get us and keep our recognition we deserved. He helped us all I believe grow up with responsibility more than he would ever know.
Sharon--here is my message. Thanks for doing this, you ROCK!
Hi Mr. Javens
I just wanted to let you know how much I respect you as a teacher and as a person. I know I didn't show it well back in the day but believe me when I say it was there, otherwise, I would have given up in the first year. You had a way of making me want to do better. I didn't want to disappoint you (even though I often did). Most of my fondest memories of school had something to do with band, psychology, or English.
And as far as Band directors go, there has been no one better or even as good. Just an example--My niece was in her 4th year of playing the clarinet and I had to show her how to play a b natural. My first thought was "Boy, do we need Mr. Javens back!". I know that wouldn't have happened with you.
I hope that you are happy and healthy and living the content life of a retired old fart! Just a little taste of the me you remember=).
If you have a minute, I would love to hear from you.
Krista (Bell) Brimhall
June 17 at 11:16am
Sharon, I spent a good half an hour writing all of my memories of Mr. Javens and when I was about to send it to you, somehow I lost the whole thing. Aargh! So here we go again. . . .
What can I say about Mr. Javens? Let me start by being honest. My crush on him started my first day of summer band as a 9-year-old, and it continued until. . . well, actually, it never really ended. Through all the years I knew Mr. Javens, I remember wondering how our little town got so lucky to have him there. And that wasn't just because the girls and their mothers were swooning (my aunt called him Mr. Hunkarooni). It was because of the talent, knowledge, refinement, and class he brought to our school.
I have many fond memories of band trips, parades, and games. But most of my memories of Mr. Javens come from the years of daily band classes. He is an oft-quoted fellow in my home. "That is our modus operandi" is something I can be heard saying, not to mention "pathetic," "mellifluous," and "cacophonous." He taught that anything worth doing is worth doing well.
I loved that Mr. Javens didn't take any crap or let anything slide, but he didn't lose his cool either. He could be friendly and fun or serious and stern, but he was always classy and in control.
One day I was trying to explain the 1st clarinet part to one of my fellow band students, but I made the mistake of doing it while Mr. Javens was talking. I received a stern reprimand in front of the whole band that nearly brought me to tears. After class, Mr. Javens called me into his office and apologized. He told me that if he could do it over, he wouldn't react that way, because I am sensitive and he recognizes that. He told me he appreciates and enjoys having me in band. It meant so much to me that he cared enough to do that. As I was leaving, he gently reminded me that in the future, I should remember not to talk while he is talking. :)
One other thing I remember is that Mr. Javens never did his teacher lunch duty. He paid Mrs. C to do it for him. Too funny!
Besides nine years of band, I took U.S. History and Psychology from Mr. Javens. He sparked my life-long fascination with the Civil War by showing us the Ken Burns documentary. I also remember a psychology experiment he concocted one day. He purposely came to class late and arranged for Mr. Green and Bruce Coon to have a big, loud argument in the hall. When Mr. Javens finally got to class, he was so cool and nonchalant, we never suspected a thing. Only after we were inside the classroom did we find out it was a lesson in psychology. I've always remembered that interesting little experience and other things I learned in that class. I ended up getting a psychology minor.
One of the greatest compliments of my life came in a letter of recommendation Mr. Javens wrote for my college scholarship application. He wrote, "I think very highly of Diane, and I find it a decided pleasure to afford her my highest recommendation." It just doesn't get much better than that -- a perfectly crafted compliment from one of my favorite, most admired, most respected teachers.
I became a better musician and better student because of my association with Mr. Javens. Thanks, Dr. J! Happy birthday! --Diane Orgill Chatwin
Thank you, Mr. Javens, for enriching our lives and the lives of countless others through your devotion to teaching the arts. You are greatly appreciated and remembered.
So I am 11 years old, just started the 6th grade and the call comes over the intercom. "Attention students!!!!!! There will be a program after school in the band room with Hayes Music Center".
Mr Javens asked me what I wanted to play, I told him I wanted to play the piano, he laughed and said I would have a hard time pushing a piano down the street. And then I told him I wanted to play the Trumpet, I really meant the Trombone, (I thought it was called the Trumpet, I swear to God! that lady called it a trumpet).
I was told that my instrument would come in a week, I was so excited. Fast Forward, I am sitting in class, Andrew & Peter Butcher gave me a few quick lessons on how to get a sound out of the Trumpet, Yes I said a trumpet, I was so disappointed. I made some sweet sounding music right off the bat, lol, NOT! Poor Mr. Javens, I am surprised he has never passed away due to the loss of blood, gushing out of his ears for internal or external bleeding. :)
When 8th grade rolled around I was a 2yr student and I practiced every day for those 2 years, religiously. Mr. Javens said I was his best student, the others in the class thought so too so they made me Band President, woooooo hooooooo!
Now High School, what a blast, now I got to play with the greats, actually they thought they were the greats, until I got there, lol, Duane (Don't remember his name, doesn't matter), Sheridan Taylor, he was a good mentor, Sharon Thorton (Montgomery), and much much more. It did not take long to get used to the people in class and to own my instrument. Mr Javens worked with me a lot and took time after school to help me with hitting notes and making sure I mastered my instrument. Lol, I have to laugh, one time I could not go to Disney land due to my grades, I had an F, lol, in like 5 classes, lol. Jim said, and I will never forget, "You are my dumbest most talented student", I don't know what was said after that but it struck a chord.
I attended Tooele High School my Senior year to try out for a few Band Scholarships, I played with the Blue Devils in the Summer of 1993. Joined the Air-Force in June 1994, and was the base Bugler for Lack land AFB for 8 weeks. Played with the Air-Force band for 6 months, was deployed to Saudi Arabia and there I was the Base Bugler, then stationed at Whiteman AFB and finished there also as the base Bugler and was the Squadron Leader for the 351st Color Guard. I received over $120,000 in scholarships for college just for playing a damn Trumpet. I'm glad I never picked the trombone, lol.
So in short if it was not for the special attention of a great teacher, mentor and man, who knows where I would have gone. Today I am 34 yrs old and still play the trumpet, I don't play for an hour everyday but I attribute many of my accomplishments today for playing an instrument. I am a Computer Engineer, a proud veteran of this country, I have traveled the world twice and a father of 4 soon to be 5 and I plan on teaching all my children to play an instrument.
Thank you Jim for not letting me push a piano down the road. Bets of wishes and you will always be in my heart and I hope after many will read this letter they will have an idea of the impact you made not on just my life, but the lives that I influence everyday. Your a genius and a mad man for working with all the students, it takes a special person to deal with students but especially me.
p.s. I could write a book on my "Band Adventures"
Today at 12:47am
Mr. Javens changed my life... I was a lowly sixth grader and wanted to be in the High School Band as a Majorette. I was so nervous. But I went and auditioned. I got the job and my summers were never the same again. He brought out the best in the band. I haven't heard it play as well since.
"Great results cannot be achieved at once, and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk --- step by step." ---Samuel Smiles.
I cannot think of a better man to apply that quote to. He walked step by step with the band for many, many miles! Always pulling a bit more from his players than any other man could.
I always valued his opinion and advice. He was a great teacher. I'm proud to call him an acquaintance and wish him the very best on his 80th birthday!
My aunt adored him, and he her. She also might like to pass along a few words. I'll see what she has to say.
Thanks for thinking of me.
March 5 at 11:29am
Sayings I remember and cherish from Mr. Javens:
"That was pathetic, just pathetic!"
"you almost always get out of something what you put into it"
Great Idea to send some messages to our beloved Jim Javens.
Hope all is well with you.
Mr. Javens had to have hated how I never really read sheet music and I just tried to wing it (sounding out the notes) instead. I don't know why he never confronted me and just said, Andrew, learn to read music, will ya?
Mr. Javens was always a very classy dresser. I remember thinking that he must make a lot more money than he lets on.
The biggest influence Mr. Javens actually made on me was not in Band. It was in my High School (Senior Year) psychology class that he taught.
Within a year I took Psychology, Sociology and Social Work 101. Now I'm a family therapist.
I still love playing in the Grantsville Old Folk's Sociable. I'm glad that he always supported the Sociable every year by getting the band ready for it. I could always tell he had a little bit of anxiety around how we would perform.
The biggest phrase I remember still and use every now and then as I laugh is "Quiet down now!! I can't hear myself think!!"
If this message gets to him, Thanks Mr. Javens for all of your patience over the years!
Okay, I will never, ever forgot the road trips we took to California and the wackiness that ensued. Mr. Javens would drive behind the bus, and one time we convinced the bus driver (I can't remember her name) to pull the bus over to play a practical joke on Mr. Javens. When the bus slowed and finally pulled off to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere between Las Vegas and California Mr. Javens ran up to us with a concerned look on his face. It was all we could do to not burst out laughing and give away the joke. Mr. Javens hurried up the bus stairs and found the bus driver slumped over the steering wheel. He placed his hand on her shoulder to ask what was wrong and all of a sudden the driver looked up at him with a cackle and gummy worms hanging out of her nose and mouth. Mr. Javens just laughed along with us and I could tell he had enjoyed the joke as much as we had. He was always like that.
Mr. Javens was a very professional dresser and teacher, but there was also a side of him that was funny and accepting.
I always felt that Mr. Javens cared about the band and the band members and because of this he always brought out the very best in us. I was always proud to participate in the varies parades we were invited to, and when I got nervous just the sight of Mr. Javens walking along with us made me feel better.
Wow, I can't believe that it's been 17 years since high school! And still I can remember those marching practices down Hale street, the way Mr. Javens could lead the band by a twitch of his finger, and laughing with him in the band office.
I can honestly say that I'm a better person today because Mr. Javens was my teacher. I remember him with a fond nostalgia and even today these memories make me smile :)
Happy Birthday Mr. Javens. I hope that or messages find you healthy and happy! May all the goodness you gave to us be returned upon you ten fold! Thank you for being such a caring teacher and role model!
I heard of Mr. Javens long (from the perspective of a kid it was long) before I met him. With three older siblings to pave the way for me I heard many stories (all of which have faded) that grew into a legend in my mind. All I knew was that I had to get old as fast as I could so that I could join the most desirable cult in the history of the World:
The Grantsville High School Band.
There was no doubt in my mind that I would play, or what instrument it would be. Having only one older brother, I naturally practiced and took up his instrument, the trombone. I learned how to buzz my lips to get, at first, a strangled squeek out of a brass instrument (or anything with a mouthpiece--milk jug, pvc pipe, garden hose, hornet's nest--no, scratch the last one), and then to draw a pure tone of music, as my lips got beefier. I learned what it meant to have an embouchure and heard whispers that it would help me to get a girlfriend, eventually. Something about trombone and trumpet players being good kissers...anyway...
I remember meeting Mr. Javens for the first time as he instructed me (officially) in the ways of the trombone, and that my arms were not quite long enough to reach 7th position while maintaining a connection with the mouthpiece. "Don't worry a bit", he said. "You're brother is an excellent player, and I'm sure you'll grow." He told me that my "tone" was amazing. From that moment on, his good opinion meant more than just about any other.
I was always impressed with Mr. Javens' poise. He was "cool" before I knew what the word meant. Even the way he led the music had style. I still chuckle at the conductors of choirs and bands when I see their wild gyrations. I can't help but compare them to my teacher's quiet, controlled posture, one hand at his side ready to point to bring a section in at the right time, and the other hand at the center of his chest, fingers moving out-and-in, out-and-in, keeping time. He always seemed to handle our weaknesses with patience, but was not adverse to handing out the occasional "That was pathetic!".
I never thought of Mr. Javens as a "teacher" at the High School, but as a leader. He could make you seriously want to do better, by simply expecting it of you. It was years after high school that I realized he was a master of creating what didn't yet exist. I spent all that time remembering fondly that I was "the best trombone player in our school" (and the implication was that I was the best in any school around). Gradually, reality set in and I realized that there were only two of us in the entire trombone section. But he made me feel like I was the best and to strive for that with all of my highly distractable, unambitious, ability. I just wish that my brain had managed to come online sooner than it did. I feel like I'm still waking up, mentally, and I would love the chance to go back and truly be the best. He still has that effect on me.
His intelligence was always an influence with me, but his sense of humor made him approachable. He even laughed when we duct-taped his daughter to the bus seat during a road trip to California. He took the 2nd and 3rd degree sunburns we all got on our first day at the beach in stride and simply pointed out that our bus driver was also a paramedic, so not to worry. His occasional jokes and puns were the investment he needed to make in us so that when it was 100 degrees and we were marching down the asphalt of the parking lot he could extract our continuing efforts and make us feel privileged to be there.
My memories of High School are now very blurry to me, but I owe Mr. Jim Javens for some of the best ones I still have. Thank you, Mr. Javens, for the person you chose to be and for investing in all of us.
By Tiffany Stookey
First and foremost, I remember Mr. Javens as someone with a sense of pride, class, and all business like attitude. Mr. Javen's did not joke much, but he never raised his voice and always had class.
I met Mr. Javen's the summer before starting 4th grade. I had wanted to be a member of the band since I was a small child. I remember the band marching down my street during the summer for practice; I thought this was the best thing in the whole world! Anyhow I wanted to play the trumpet (probably because it was loud and I was small, and wanted to be heard). When my mother and I went to sign me up for band Mr. Javen's convinced my mother that the clarinet would be better for me. I was very disappointed, but my desire to be in the band was stronger than my disappointment.
Mr. Javen's taught me to read music, and play the clarinet, a long and painful task. I remember him as serious, and demanding perfection. As a child he scared the crap out of me. Learning to play an instrument was very difficult, but I guess it was my stubborn type A personality that kept me going, failure was not an option.
I remember the Colonel Sanders Cowboy uniforms. I remember how excited we all were to get new uniforms. We had all worked so hard to raise the money to pay for them (I can't remember how we raised the money). I was not impressed by the cowboy hat at all, as that was not my sense of style. We were the “Cowboys” and I wanted nothing less than to dress like a one. On the other hand I was so excited to wear the uniform for the first time and March in the parade. We marched with our heads held high, with pride and a sense of accomplishment. From there we went to SLC to march in the Days of 47 parade for the first time and then to Disney Land.
Mr. Javen's was a great influence on my life, he taught me about music, Literature (Iambic Pentameter/Blank Verse), hard work, and a sense of pride and accomplishment. Now as an adult I realize what a dedicated and patient man he was. I have 2 teenagers and an 11yr old and I cannot imagine taking 30 of them on bus for a short trip, let alone out of town for a few days. He was there for us day after day for year after year. Kudos to you Mr. Javen's! You are a Grantsville High Legend!