Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 31, 2012

Community remembers Miss D

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

NEWTON — More than 400 former students, community members and friends filled the Newton Community High School Gymnasium Saturday afternoon to give a last farewell to former band leader Carolyn "Miss D" Domineck.

    Domineck, who died Dec. 11, served Newton bands for decades. She came to the grade school in 1971 before moving onto the high school in 1974.

    The memorial service, put on by the organization Friends of Miss D, recounted important moments in the band leaders life as well as the way she impacted all of her students throughout her more than a decade of service.

    "She had a huge impact on this community and a huge impact on so many people's lives," said Raymond Reynolds, a former band member who played in bands led by Domineck from his grade school days from 1972 to 1974 and again in high school from 1976 to 1980. "She definitely had a goal in mind when she came and she wanted to take this band and the kids places that they wouldn't be able to go otherwise."

    Reynolds joined fellow former band members throughout the ceremony to play songs honoring Domineck including "Amazing Grace," and one of the songs Domineck was most known for, "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

    "It's an honor to play again for her," Reynolds said. "She taught us so much about life and I'm just glad they allowed us to play."

    Along with the ceremony, large boards covered with pictures, pamphlets, maps and memorabilia from Domineck's long musical career filled the gymnasium. In the cafeteria, more than 200 trophies she had won in her time as band director were available for visitors to examine or purchase as part of a donation drive for the Miss D Scholarship Fund. DVDs from the memorial service will also be available on the Friends of Miss D website at www.missd.fbcnewton.com.

    Amongst those who played for Domineck, her life both as an educator and friend will be remembered for years to come.

    "Like everybody else in the band can say, she was a director on the field and a friend and confidante everywhere else," said Todd Short, a member of the Friends of Miss D said. "She didn't just make friendly conversation. She wanted to know who you are and wanted to be your friend."

    Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.