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Frisco High School Spring Concert Remembers Faith Gray (June, 2006)

Faith GrayFriends and family of the late Faith Gray, who served as Frisco Independent School District’s elementary music teacher from the 1980s through the mid-1990s, remembered her dedication, her energy and her love of children at the annual Frisco High School Spring Band Concert at the Murchison Performing Arts Center in Denton.

Dr. Daryl Trent, director of the FHS Band and the man who initially hired Gray, said that honoring her was something he had wanted to do for a long time. Gray died unexpectedly after only a brief retirement and Trent admitted that perhaps this memorial concert wasn’t as timely as it should have been but that he was still glad that it had finally come together. Three of Gray’s four talented children - Sheila Gray, Gayl Ramsey and Jamie Gray were able to attend and participate in the concert. Gray’s other daughter, Rita, was unable to attend because one of her children had a performance conflict.

Trent came to Frisco 27 years ago and took over all music responsibilities including elementary music until he hired Gray; this year he has been promoted to FISD’s Fine Arts Director. Julia Hoxie, president of the FHS Band Boosters, noted that now 27 years later he is essentially back where he started – in charge of all the music and choir, as well as art, dance, and cheerleading. The spring concert was also a time for Trent’s students to tell him good luck and to wish good luck to Alyson Villarreal, who will be moving to Liberty High School.

Joining Trent in remembering Gray were Dr. Charlotte and Charles Mooneyham, former FISD principals who knew Gray well. Charlotte Mooneyham recalled Gray writing a script to include speaking parts for the entire third grade for one musical because she believed that if a child wanted to be part of the play, that child should have the chance.

Former student Lauren Newman said that Gray had been a major influence on her life and that Gray had known how to keep children interested in music. She recalled that “Mrs. Gray would play us a piece by Mozart and then she would change and play Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.”  

Joining the FHS band in their end-of-year performances were the FHS choir under the direction of Justin Hodges and the state-level award-winning Boals Elementary Choir. Trent invited the elementary choir to sing with the band and high school choir as a fitting tribute to the years of efforts of Gray. Melissa Ringel, the Boals choir director, joined Trent in leading the students in a variety of songs. The Boals choir, FHS choir and the FHS Wind Symphony band worked together to perform The African Trilogy by Neil Diamond.

Jamie Gray sang “I’m Proud to Be an American,” at the concert and Gray’s daughters joined in directing and performing with the band, as a tribute to their mother’s musical legacy.

Persons who want to honor Gray are urged to join her friends and former co-workers in contributing to the Frisco Education Foundation toward a Faith Gray Memorial Scholarship. You may contact FEF at (469) 633-6864 for information.