Memorial Band Director Dies In Crash

Local News
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The music community across the Chippewa Valley is mourning the death of one of its own.  Memorial High School band director, Gene Power, was killed in a car crash Saturday night in Dodge County.

Deputies say Power was driving on county highway E in the town of Burnett, near Beaver Dam, when he went off the road and spun, crossing into the other lane of traffic, where he hit a culvert and a tree.
Investigators believe alcohol and speed are factors in the crash.

Fox 25-48’s Noelle Anderson has more.

He was only with the Memorial High School band department for a few weeks but even in that short time, he was able to share his love of music with the people around him.

“I think anyone who worked with him would say he’s just an outstanding musician and conductor.”

Thirty-six year old Gene Power was killed Saturday night in a car crash in Dodge County.

Deputies say Power was driving on county highway E in the town of Burnett, when he went off the road and spun, hitting a tree.

Investigators believe alcohol and speed are factors in the crash.

Now, students and staff at Memorial High School are remembering Power for the magnificent teacher he was.

“He knew how to mix instruction, pushing the kids, but having fun with the kids at the same time. He was the perfect example of a great teacher.”

Eric Dasher and Soma Pierce-Smit have known Power for several years now.

“I think the hardest thing for us, is that we know what those possibilities were. They really only had a taste of what could occur.”

“There was such excitement and hope at the beginning of this year when he started teaching because it took maybe a day or two for the kids to figure out, wow this guy is good. This guy knows what he’s doing. This is going to be great.”

Many people from the music community in the Chippewa Valley have been showing their support.

“Gene had a large footprint within the Chippewa Valley and in the music community. It was part of the reason we were so excited to bring him back to Memorial High School. We’ve seen an out pouring of support.”

“He was a unique guy. He’s a great guy.”

In Eau Claire, Noelle Anderson, Fox 25-48 News at Nine.

Dennis Luginbill who used to be with the Memorial band department will be taking over this week, as it is homecoming week.

This weekend the band will be paying tribute to Power at the homecoming football game.

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