*** http://www.gonzaga.org/teacher-pages/chris-flannery-tribute ***
It is with profound sadness that Gonzaga College High School mourns the sudden and untimely passing of Mr. Christopher T. Flannery, the school’s esteemed director of instrumental music for thirty-two years and the long-time chairman of the school’s department of fine arts.
Mr. Flannery was born on December 19, 1954 in Long Branch, New Jersey, and was a 1973 graduate of Red Bank Catholic High School in Red Bank, New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree in 1977 and his Master of Music degree in 1980, both from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America, concentrating in percussion performance.
Shortly after embarking on a career as a professional percussionist and private percussion instructor, he joined the Gonzaga College High School faculty in 1982. In an amazingly brief time he took a small extracurricular school band and developed it into a comprehensive academic curriculum in instrumental music and an ambitious, nationally recognized and award-winning performing organization, comprising a hundred-member symphonic wind ensemble, a liturgical ensemble for service at school-wide worship in Saint Aloysius Gonzaga Church, and a truly dazzling jazz band. He also introduced a course in music theory into the school’s curricular offerings.
During his decades as an educator he continued to be an active union musician and was in regular demand as a percussionist for a wide variety of orchestral, theatrical, and band engagements. He was first and foremost a brilliant teacher, however, and his achievements as such cannot be overstated. The extraordinary sense of organization he brought to his program and the excellence he demanded and got from his students have been an inspiration to his colleagues at Gonzaga for over three decades, to the many hundreds of young men who have passed under his tutelage and his baton, and to their parents.
Mr. Flannery was an authentic gentleman and a beloved friend to the Gonzaga family. His passing from us has left a void that will not easily be filled, but with faith we commend him into God’s hands.