TWIN FALLS | Ted Hadley has been retired for less than a year, but he is still as busy as ever.
He no longer teaches band, orchestra and guitar at Canyon Ridge High School and Robert Stuart Middle School. But he continues to direct the Twin Falls Municipal Band and the Magic Valley Symphony. He also helps with the Magic Valley Youth Orchestra on the Saturdays.
After 40 years of teaching music in the Twin Falls School District, Hadley announced his retirement in April 2014 at the Magic Valley Symphony’s final performance of the season.
Clad in a Riverhawk sweatshirt from Canyon Ridge, Hadley talked Jan. 19 about the complexities of retirement.
"When you retire, you have to reinvent yourself," he said. "It's a great reason to practice my piano playing."
Hadley has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Idaho. He started his teaching career in the Twin Falls district straight out of college.
In 1992, Idaho Music Educators Association named him Idaho Music Educator of the Year. In September 2012, he was awarded a Governor’s Award in the Arts for Support of Arts Education.
He also was recognized as Mentor Teacher of the Year in 2011 by Boise State University’s Department of Education, has received the Magic Valley Arts Council Biennial Mayor’s Award for Arts Community Leadership, and in 1996 was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Twin Falls Rotary Club.
Joe Casperson, choir teacher at Twin Falls High, said he met Hadley 15 years ago when he was hired to conduct the Magic Valley Chorale.
"I always felt that, as far as teaching music, he could have been teaching at a university level. He's very intellectual," Casperson said.
Also, he said, "He has made himself available to accompany on the piano for many schools and private music teachers in town.
"When they need to prepare for district competition or for state, he would find time to help those students that needed an accompanist. I think he enjoyed it because he would stay and listen to the other kids."
Hadley plays French horn, piano, organ and bells. But he knows how to play all instruments. This year's Magic Valley Symphony is called “Silver Reflections,” and it celebrates the 25th anniversary of Theodore Anchor Hadley as its conductor and director of music.
Paula Brown Sinclair, a member of the Magic Valley Symphony, said such longevity among educators is not uncommon, but Hadley is an exception.
"He has pushed music education far beyond the four walls of the classroom and the nine months of the school year," Sinclair said.
In 1982, Hadley encouraged Sinclair to again play the French horn. On her first night playing with the city band, Sinclair said, she did not hit "one right note at the right time."
She said Hadley told her, "You didn't expect it all to come back in just one week, did you?"
He gave her the confidence not to quit. She retired from playing with the Twin Falls Municipal Band after 22 years but still plays with the Magic Valley Symphony.