Concert in Memorium: Rob Hiaasen


Maria Eberhart and Anna Mason

Donning green ribbons in memory of Rob Hiaasen, members of Dulaney’s choir and orchestra interspersed poetry with music at a tribute concert Oct. 25. Hiaasen was English teacher Maria Hiaasen’s husband and a victim of the Capital Gazette shooting June 28.

Attendees were encouraged to donate $3. upon entry. This money will be used for a memorial scholarship and will be attached to the English award presented at senior awards in May.

English department chair Jason Bowman explained that the award will be presented to the student who contributed the most to the English classroom throughout their Dulaney career, whether that be through writing or appreciation of literature.

“Those were things that Rob cared about,” Bowman said. “He was a lover of poetry and he loved words.”

The idea of altering the traditional fall orchestra and choral concert to a tribute concert was coordinated by choir teacher Christy Senita.

“I know that when we lose people that we love one of the most comforting things is when we keep those memories alive,” Senita said.

Senita described the thought process behind the poetry and music selection as being one entirely centered around Rob Hiaasen’s life.

“Listening and learning about who he was as a person and the things he loved helped me choose the text from some of the music that we’re singing,” Senita said. “We’ll be reading poetry that were some of his favorite poems.”

Senita cited poetry that represented Hiaasen’s love of travel and oceans, as well as poems that celebrated friendship and connection.

English teacher Meekah Hopkins’s advanced creative writing class was recruited by Senita to write poetry for the event.

“I encouraged them to write in their own way, in their own voice,” Hopkins said. “The poems are beautiful, so heartfelt.”

At the close of the tribute, members of the choir held candles while singing a Celtic blessing.

“Obviously, we all love Mrs. Hiaasen,” Senita said. “I was just thinking, how can we show her how much we love her?”