On March 29, when Talley went to the podium, she was not the presenter, but the honoree. She was given a plaque recognizing her many years as an active advocate for the arts in Tracy.
Bill Meyer, who heads arts education for the Tracy Unified School District, made the presentation, along with Dr. James Franco, superintendent of schools. Meyer said Talley has backed the arts, and arts education, in a number of capacities.
“While a school board member in Tracy and on the county board of education, Gretchen always stood up for arts education,” Meyer said. “She is an important role model for arts advocacy in our community.”
In addition to her service on the boards of education, Talley was multi-year chairwoman of Tracy Friends of the Stockton Symphony, which sponsored symphony concerts in Tracy and presented Gordon and Anthea Wells Music Scholarships to middle school music students.
Four of those $250 scholarships — for special instruction or purchase of an instrument — were awarded to middle school students during the evening.
• Caroline Kimura plays violin in the Williams Middle School orchestra and was instrumental in creating a student-led string quartet, which will perform several pieces at the Williams concert in May.
• Bo Quiambao, has been active in choir, band and musical theater at Kelly School. He has been named to this year’s San Joaquin County Honor Band.
• Rachel Havens plays violin in the string orchestra at Monte Vista Middle School and is a leader in that ensemble. She also plays bass guitar in the jazz band and rock band and is a member of the percussion ensemble, playing piano and mallets.
• Guillermo Bugarin plays saxophone at North School and was named to the Tracy Area Honor Band this year. He is teaching himself jazz, Mexican folk and “Mario Bros.” music.