Greenhaw retires after decade as band director

By Staff
Tracy B. Cieniewicz, Hartselle Enquirer
Although Dexter Greenhaw's 27-year career as a high school band director is drawing to an end, a new career will allow him to continue sharing his musical talents despite a debilitating disease.
Greenhaw, Hartselle High School band director since 1994, began his musical teaching career in 1977 at Clements High School in Limestone County. Following his retirement this May, Greenhaw will return to Limestone County as a full-time music director at Friendship United Methodist Church in Athens.
"I believe God gave me this incredible musical talent, and all glory goes to him," Greenhaw explained. "I will always be a teacher, but now it will be in a different way."
Greenhaw's decision to retire follows a three-year battle with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), a debilitating disease related to Muscular Dystrophy that has severely affected the use of his legs. However, Greenhaw's disease differs from MD in that it only affects voluntary muscles and is usually limited to one area of the body.
"I just can't do the football games anymore because my legs really limit me," Greenhaw said. "The kids have been great to help me, but I always said I would never get in the way. It's time to move on and let the band progress."
Although there is no cure for SMA, Greenhaw said research is continually being conducted.
"Thank goodness for the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association Telethon," Greenhaw said. "It is the reason research can be done."
While Greenhaw will miss his position as band director, he's excited to become an official band parent to his son Ian, 17, who will be a senior next year at HHS. Greenhaw was also band director to his son Zach, 23.
"I get to be a band parent now, so I won't totally be gone from the program here at Hartselle High," Greenhaw said. "I also hope my friends who are band directors will still call on me to listen to their bands. I've had some great students here at Hartselle and I will miss them. They have shown me a great deal of respect."
Greenhaw said applications for a new band director are currently being reviewed and a decision is expected to be announced at the May 20 school board meeting.
Greenhaw's farewell performance as HHS band director will be at the band's year-end concert Tuesday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at the Princess Theatre in Decatur. The concert will feature the concert band, jazz band and percussion ensembles. The performance is free and the community is cordially invited to attend.

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