Thank You for Everything, Mrs. Harrington

After 35 Years at AHS, Music Teacher Mrs. Harrington to Retire


Colleen Blanchard, with permission

Abington Music trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, on April 26, 2018. Left to right: Abby Joyce (’21), Mrs. Joyce Harrington, and Lyla Blanchard (’21) in front of Main St. and Cinderella’s Castle.

Abby Joyce, Social Media Manager

At the end of the current 2018-2019 school year, Abington High School and Middle School band teacher Mrs. Joyce Harrington will retire from teaching. She has been creating musicians here for 35 years.

Harrington, who got her Bachelor of Arts degree at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her Master of Arts degree at Boston’s New England Conservatory, teaches students from fourth grade until they graduate.

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She pays attention to every detail and never lets us give up on something or lets it not be the greatest it can be.

— Kathryn Genest

In addition to teaching in Abington Schools, Harrington also leads and participates in many different musical groups. She conducts the Abington Community Band, and plays saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. She plays with The American Band of Providence, the Arthur Medeiros Swing Orchestra, and in numerous pit orchestras for theater productions in Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts.

Mrs. Harrington teaches high school and middle school band in the practice room every day. She said, “I will miss working with the AHS and AMS Bands. It is amazing to see the progress they make during each year.” She added that, “I will miss the students as they go through the program; many of them become wonderful musicians.”

One thing Mrs. Harrington has always told her students is that making music is the best thing they can do to educate themselves. She said that, “I always hope they [students] will play throughout their life.” Speaking with students, it is clear she has left an impression.

Victoria Donahue, a flute and piccolo player in the AHS band junior said, “I’ll miss her [Mrs. Harrington’s] way of pushing us to do our best everyday.”

Another band member, sophomore saxophone player Kathryn Genest, said, “Mrs. Harrington always challenges us.” She added, “We always thought she was crazy when we’d look at the music, but she helped us to learn and understand it and make something cool out of it, and we always came out as better musicians. She pays attention to every detail and never lets us give up on something or lets it not be the greatest it can be.”

Elizabeth Roy, a sophomore flutist, said she has always felt “enthusiasm to work with” Mrs. Harrington.

Mrs. Harrington’s love for music translates into her teaching. She always helps students reach their full potential and offers assistance to anyone who needs it. From fixing instruments, to helping a player with a note, she has been there every step of the way. She has always encouraged students to put forth the utmost effort into every song and to make beautiful music every day. Clearly she has passion for music and teaching and said, “I will miss coming to school every day.”

Her work with music students extends to outside of the classroom, too. Mrs. Harrington has dedicated much time teaching them about the music world in other places. For years, she has taken Abington students on numerous trips to help them learn and experience different kinds of music, such as to New York City; Washington D.C.; and Walt Disney World in Orlando.

We want to thank you Mrs. Harrington for all that you have done for Abington students and the Music Department. Your dedication, enthusiasm, and encouragement that you gave to us every day, every step of the way, will be missed.