The Wilton High School Warrior Band parent community is hosting a Retirement Celebration for Frank “Chip” Gawle, on Thursday, June 16, from 7-8:30 p.m., at the Clune Center for the Performing Arts, to celebrate the many remarkable contributions Gawle has made to Wilton.

All students, parents, faculty, WHS alumni and community members are invited to this free event.

Gawle has announced his plans to retire after 35 years with Wilton Public Schools, where he is the award-winning director of the WHS Warrior Band and a 2016 GRAMMY Educator Award Finalist. He has also served as an administrator and instructional leader at Wilton High School. Gawle has made a lasting impact on music education in Wilton, motivating scores of students to pursue the fields of music and music education.

Featured speakers will include former Wilton Public Schools superintendents Dr. David Clune and Dr. Gary Richards; current superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith; and Dr. Robert O’Donnell, WHS principal. The master of ceremonies is Sam Gumins. Musical entertainment is the popular and highly-acclaimed band, “Black Tie Affair,” featuring WHS students Tristan Clark, Will Comer, Elliot Connors, Tommy Crimmins and Ben Senneff.

In addition, the newly-completed WHS Hall of Fame (located at the Clune Center) will be opened to the public. Gawle has been announced as the first inductee; a plaque will be dedicated and installed in the fall.

Voluntary donations will be accepted to support the event, including the purchase of a commemorative plaque, and for Gawle’s “Play it Again” initiative, which provides fully refurbished, used musical instruments to deserving music students at no cost. Please refer to the group’s Facebook page “Chip Gawle Retirement Celebration” for details and instructions.  The community is also invited to share photos, stories and memories about Mr. Gawle on the Facebook page.

“Play it Again” will have a collection box for used musical instruments–in any condition–at the event. These instruments will be fully refurbished and provided free of charge to deserving music students. (Donation tax value can be calculated online.)

A reception will follow in the Zellner Gallery at the Clune Center for the Performing Arts at WHS.