Music Students Surprise Sick Teacher with 'Top Gun' Performance

A teacher in Caledonia returning to class after nearly a year away for medical treatment received a special surprise ...

Posted: May 31, 2018 4:19 PM
Updated: May 31, 2018 4:19 PM

A teacher in Caledonia returning to class after nearly a year away for medical treatment received a special surprise Wednesday morning. David Sowerby's two eighth grade orchestra and band classes came together to perform a piece they worked on for two weeks.

It was a sweet moment for Sowerby after months of hard ones.

"It started back last summer when I got really sick with my Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, PSC, and I was hospitalized in Spectrum and then ambulanced me to Henry Ford where the specialist could take over and start my work for the liver transplant," Sowerby said.

Sowerby spent nearly an entire school year away from his students.

"I did try to come back in September for a couple of days and it was just too much with the disease," Sowerby said.

Finally on the road to recovery, he visited his classroom and was surprised with a special performance including songs from his favorite movie, Top Gun.

"He's such an awesome teacher and we were all really bummed out when he had to get the transplant and he couldn't come. So it was really fun to kind of like surprise him with that," said Duncan Lake 8th grader Gracie Frederick.

"It feels great to just know that we did something that makes him happy. Glad to do it for him," said Ella Moorlag, a Duncan Lake student.

Band Director Donald Raaymakers says it was an easy choice.

"I know how much it was affecting him being away and he and I have grown into pretty close friends over the passed 13, 14, 15 years and we have a fondness for Top Gun and I thought it would be really fun to secretly prepare Top Gun for middle school orchestra and band," said Raaymakers.

That absence now a reminder for Sowerby to soak in every moment with his students.

"Yeah I got a little teary ya know. I wish I was able to be part of it. To have them prepare that for me, it was really something. I have a different outlook on life now. If I can get through a liver transplant they should be able to get through sixth, seventh, or eighth grade orchestra," said Sowerby.

The students who performed Wednesday morning told FOX17 that they are excited for the upcoming students who will get the chance to work with an orchestra teacher who has made such an impact on their lives.

Sowerby plans on returning to work in the fall.

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 74°
Robinson
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 71°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 69°
Casey
Few Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 73°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 74°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 74°
Clear & Cool
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 184522

Reported Deaths: 7723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1072474897
Lake12089440
DuPage11558510
Kane9239298
Will8650339
Winnebago3688125
St. Clair3655156
McHenry2961114
Madison222273
Kankakee168668
Rock Island160531
Champaign154719
Unassigned1347197
Peoria134135
Kendall129123
Sangamon103733
DeKalb85029
Boone73523
Jackson65019
McLean57215
LaSalle56020
Macon48923
Adams4454
Randolph4357
Coles40119
Tazewell3888
Ogle3775
Clinton34917
Williamson3415
Stephenson3186
Whiteside31316
Union30321
Grundy2825
Monroe27813
Knox2621
Iroquois2497
Vermilion2152
Henry2071
Morgan2035
Cass20211
Jefferson19217
Warren1830
Lee1482
Montgomery1477
Bureau1442
Marion1380
Macoupin1373
Franklin1320
McDonough12815
Perry1261
Effingham1161
Christian1154
Jo Daviess1131
Saline1131
Douglas1022
Woodford983
Livingston922
Pulaski910
Logan860
Jersey701
Mercer700
Clark680
Shelby601
Fayette583
Washington580
White580
Bond572
Johnson570
Moultrie550
Jasper537
Wayne501
Menard480
Piatt480
Cumberland472
Carroll463
Gallatin450
Lawrence420
Mason420
Ford411
Alexander360
Hancock341
Massac340
Wabash320
De Witt300
Crawford290
Edgar260
Fulton260
Hamilton230
Marshall210
Greene200
Hardin170
Schuyler170
Clay140
Brown130
Edwards130
Pike130
Richland130
Scott110
Henderson90
Pope80
Putnam80
Calhoun70
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 68433

Reported Deaths: 2980
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14863719
Lake7101271
Elkhart459777
Allen3635158
St. Joseph315479
Hamilton2513104
Cass17519
Hendricks1750105
Vanderburgh172612
Johnson1652118
Porter119539
Tippecanoe110311
Clark108145
Madison84765
LaPorte83829
Kosciusko81912
Howard81065
Bartholomew74347
Marshall74222
Floyd69444
Monroe68630
Delaware63852
Noble63728
Boone63546
Dubois62612
Hancock62337
Jackson5524
LaGrange54210
Warrick51630
Shelby51126
Grant49629
Vigo47410
Dearborn46528
Morgan42532
Henry36118
Clinton3573
White34710
Montgomery34321
Lawrence32827
Wayne3179
Decatur31432
Harrison29422
Miami2582
Scott25010
Daviess24619
Greene23934
Franklin22410
DeKalb2224
Putnam2228
Jennings21012
Jasper2082
Gibson2004
Steuben2003
Ripley1887
Perry17212
Starke1657
Orange16424
Wabash1613
Posey1580
Fayette1557
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1462
Carroll1452
Wells1342
Knox1310
Huntington1183
Washington1161
Spencer1143
Newton11010
Tipton1075
Randolph1034
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan761
Pulaski721
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio514
Pike460
Parke451
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200