“He really takes charge, not just of the music program but the whole school,” senior Nick Quirk said. “Even if kids aren’t in the band, people will look to him as a head figure that people can relate to.”
Quirk has been in the band since he was a freshman and is also a member of the community band. He said his relationship with DiBartolomeo is different than it is with any other teacher in the school.
“He will sometimes be here from 9 to 9,” Quirk said. “I think he’s one of the most devoted teachers we have here.”
For DiBartolomeo, the most important part of the job is that relationship he has with his students.
“I love teaching students through music,” he said. “I don’t say I teach music, I say I teach students. That vehicle is what you use to further their education. With music, you’re going to get to know individuals in a way that you might not with other subjects.”
The connection is so strong for DiBartolomeo with the students, that when it comes time to see them leave Timberlane, it becomes difficult.
“At the end of the school year, when the seniors have their final going-away event,” said John Mainella, Timberlane Middle School band director. “There are certain students that after four years, he can’t speak about because he gets so choked up because he got to know them so well.”
Mainella and several other colleagues in the music department decided to nominate DiBartolomeo because it was his final year as chairman of the All-State ensembles.
The department submitted the nomination to the NHMEA board, which picked DiBartolomeo for the award.
“I’m just really grateful,” he said. “The department is the one who really put in all the legwork for this.”Tony DiBartolomeo, Timberlane's music director, was honored with the New Hampshire Music Educator of the year award last month.