When it comes to musical performances, audiences often want the best seat in the house, which is usually front and center.

To determine the importance of music to a school district, Tina Vafiadis is in the prime location.

Vafiadis, music teacher and band director of Ridley High School, stands front and center, guiding students through their performances. She’s also been on the other side as a band member playing clarinet, baritone saxophone, and as a drum major. Vafiadis, a Ridley High School graduate, enjoyed the camaraderie of the band and calls the experience fulfilling.

“Those friendships are ones I still carry today,” she said.

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