25 April 1918
17 February 1984
There has never been a teacher that has had such a profound effect
on my adult life as Howard Vierra. From my earliest musical beginnings
as a 10 year old fifth grader at the Fifth Street School
to the honor of receiving the 1956 Musical Achievement Award in my
senior year at Livermore High, Howard took a child squeaking and
squawking on a saxophone and molded that child into a professional
musician. One of my dearest and proudest memories of Howard occurred
during rodeo weekend 1966. I was playing at a Livermore night club
with The Townsmen, a four piece combo made up of myself and three
other local musicians. Howard, along with his lovely wife, paid a
visit to the club that evening. He was dressed in attire appropriate
for rodeo festivities; jeans, a western shirt and a cowboy hat.
After an hour or so of listening and dancing, Howard and his wife
departed, but not before they stopped by the bandstand where Howard
complimented me on my performance. As I look back on that evening,
I sometimes wonder if Howard remembered visions of a 10 year old
fifth grader that squeaked and squawked learning to play sax so many
years before. For me, the remarks he made on that unforgettable
evening in June 1966 will always hold a special place in my memory.
To be complimented by your
mentor is the ultimate tribute.
Howard passed away on February 17, 1984. I will always remember him.
The above picture is from the 1956 El Vaquero, the Livermore High School yearbook,
which was dedicated to Mr Vierra.
Click here to see a scan of the entire page.
See also the following pictures from the Livermore Class Picture Archive:
Junction Ave Elementary School Marching Band in the 1952 Rodeo Parade
1956 yearbook photos of the Livermore High School band
This page is part of the Livermore Teachers Memorial. If you have pictures or memories of Mr Vierra that you would like to share, please write to write to the webmaster or post them in the "In Memory" folder of the Livermore High Alumni Forum.