Lenoir City, Tennessee, is home to Legends Brass. We (Derek and Leslie Saidak) grew up here. We met in high school marching band, continued marching and concert band through college, and music has been a part of our lives ever since. Our high school band director, Dr. Ric Best, had a big impact on both of us. Sure he taught us how to play instruments and read music. But more importantly, he showed us that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be successful, and it’s worth the effort! As we became adults, and parents, we realized the value of the characteristics he had instilled in us. Having a good work ethic, a personal commitment to excellence, and dedication to doing things right were characteristics that had been reinforced in band, and had helped us achieve personal success. We look back with thanks and gratitude for all he taught us about music and about life.
My grandmother always said, “if you can’t pay it back, you should pay it forward.” So this year, we worked with the Best family to start a scholarship in honor of Dr. Best. It turns out there are many people in our community who feel the same way we do, and were happy to contribute. The donations from our community were enough to award three winners this year, one from each high school in our county. We hope to continue this scholarship for many years to come. Rewarding the efforts of hard working and dedicated band students as they graduate high school and go on to college and adult life seems like the perfect way to honor Dr. Best.
For more information about the Ric Best Scholarship, or to make a contribution, click here.