Rick Hammarstrom — Sierra High’s Music Man — is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame.
Other members of the Class of 2017 are Jack Devincenzi, athletics; Rick Arucan, education; Jerry Rose, at large; Dr. Glenn Brown, health care; Jack Lewis, business; Scott Blevins, business; Bill Van Ryn, agriculture, Ken Hafer, special recognition ; and Tevani Liotard, community service.
Hammarstrom is being inducted for art.
The 25th annual induction ceremonies and dinner takes place on Saturday, May 20, at the Manteca Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane. Dinner is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $60. They are available through the Boys & Girls Club by calling 239-KIDS.
Hammarstrom is in his 28th year as a Manteca Unified School District teacher and has been band director at Sierra High since 1998. He began his career as a music educator in 1985.
Hammarstrom’s is passionate about music and dedicated to his students. He regularly brings in guest artists and clinicians to perform and work with his students. Stockton Symphony conductor Peter Jaffee, the Fresno State “Beat Band” and the East Bay faculty Jazz combo are just a few that have made appearances in his classroom.
Those who nominated him noted Hammarstrom “goes to great lengths to ensure his students are getting the most out of their musical education.” He takes them to festivals so they can perform, hear others perform, and most importantly get feedback from experts. His bands have performed all over California including Disneyland as well as in Oregon, Hawaii, and Japan. He takes great pride in the fact many of his former students have gone on to become music teachers themselves and some even earn a living as performers.
Besides being an accomplished teacher, Hammarstrom is a talented musician as well. He won the Billboard Songwriting contest in 1990. His original jazz and gospel compositions and arrangements have been performed many times by various musicians.
Hammarstrom and his brother composed and recorded the seven-song CD “Don’t Quit.” During his time at Rick’s College, he composed, guest composed, and was a clinician. Hammarstrom was commissioned by the Michelle Sutton Foundation to compose and record the sing, “Buyer Beware.” He also composed an original fight song for Sierra High —“Timberwolves, Go, Fight, Win!”
He also is the leader of his own band, the “On Track Band.”
Hammarstrom was the 2010 Artist of the Year honoree at the Mayors Committee for the Arts. He was named the Manteca Unified School District Secondary Educator of the Year and the San Joaquin County Teacher of the Year in 2014. He also received the 2017 Crystal Apple Award presented by the LDS church to teachers that inspire their students.
Born in San Francisco in 1960, Hammarstrom graduated from Hayward High in 1978. Before graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s of Music and teaching credential, he served as a missionary for two years for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tokyo. Hammarstrom obtained his Masters of Music Education from California State University at Sacramento in 1990. He also majored in music at Ricks College.
He served 10 years as an assistant Scout master and 10 years as a Young Men’s Leader for the LDS. He coached sports including basketball, softball, and volleyball at McParland School for five years as well as tennis at Sierra High for three years
All six of his children are Sierra High graduates.
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