Links to Heather Articles
Here are some special rememberances of Heather Christensen
...brett jackson, November 11, 2009, 10:11am
AS YOU MAY HAVE HEARD THE AMERICAN FOK HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND IS GOING TO GRAND NATIONALS THIS WEEKEND!!! WE PULLED IT OFF AND EARNED OVER 231,000 DOLLARS IN TWO DAYS!!! THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE THINGS I HAVE VEER SEEN AND WILL CHANGE MY LIFE FORVER. I THANK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR SUPORT AND LOVE SHOWN TO US THROUGH THIS WHOLE ENTIRE SEASON AND EVERYTHING WE'VE GONE THROUGH. THANKS YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME, PRAYERS, AND DONATIONS, THEY MEAN MORE O US THEN YOU COULD EVER KNOW. WE ARE PROUD AS A BAND TO GO AND REPRESENT OUR FAMILIES, COMUNITIES, THE WESTERN UNITED STATES, AND HEATHER AS WE PREFORM OUR SHOW ON THE NAITONAL FIELD. THANKS YOU SO MUCH, WE ARE FOREVER IN YOUR DEBT, KEEP US IN YOUR PRAYERS THIS WEEKEND, WE'RE GOING TO DO OUR BEST AND TO SHOW EVERYONE WHAT THIS MEANS TO US. IF WE CAN RAISE 231,000 DOLLARS IN TWO DAYS WE CAN DO ANYTHING!
WITH ALL LOVE AND GRATITUDE,
~ BRETT EDWIN JACKSON, TRUMPET,
AMERICAN FORK HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND
Crystalyn Wilson, November 10, 2009, 6:49pm
Miss C, as many of us knew her, was one of the most influential teachers I ever had. She not only was a teacher though, she instantly became a friend! She believed in the goodness she saw in others and always pushed us to be all that we could be! She never doubted our abilities and gave us reasons why we should believe in ourselves.
She was INCREDIBLE!!! I cannot think of a more wonderful person! I really do love her! When I was dealing with the hardest thing I have yet to face in my life (The loss of my best friend) Heather text me for 3 months just checking up on me to make sure I was doing okay! I loved going to competitions and getting hugs from her ALMOST always, or if she were too busy, it was the sweet smile and wave from the field! I graduated in 2005 from Riverton High and had the wonderful opportunity of spending 4 years in her program...and several years outside it!
She gave me the opportunity to be a leader (her band president in 2004-2005), taught me love, respect, and patience, and she always knew just how to fix the little "dramatic" problems we all faced back then! She was a counselor, teacher, and most of all, a dear friend!
I will forever miss our funny facebook chats, her silly texts, seeing her at competitions, laughing my head off at her jokes, embarassing her so her face matched her shirt, and those wonderful hugs that I got every week at competitions! She truly was a hero...even before this tragic accident! One of a kind! I know she is keeping the angels in time! Lucky Ducks! The world is a little darker of a place without her, but her memory will live on in the hearts of MILLIONS of people!!!
I love you Miss C. THANK YOU for all you taught me, and for being my friend when I needed one most!!!
Riverton High School Band
Band President 2004-2005kayelee campbell, November 9, 2009, 8:12pm
I missed you today Heather. I've missed you everyday. I don't know how life is going to be without you but thus far it sucks. I see the pictures of you and it hurts me to remember all the things you asked me to do that I never did. I'm sorry I never had a silent rehearsal. I'm sorry for everything. I love you so much. Thank you for all you did for me. You were an excellent mentor and friend. I never had to ask you twice for anything, unless it was a water break... I miss you so much... Heather, the last thing I said to you was that I loved you.Well, besides the conversation about John Cusack. I hope you understood the true meaning of my words. Life is really hard without you. I miss you more everyday. The way you conducted, the way you told us to be our best and weren't too disappointed when we weren't. I love you. A day doesn't go by that I don't think about the accident and wonder what I could have done. but, i know i couldn't have done anything. And if i had, there would be worse damage. I thank you for your sacrifice. You saved me in so many ways. I miss you.
Heather, even though you're gone, I know you're with us. We felt you today, at the competition. They turned around your picture and i cried. Oh Heather, i miss you so very much. You could give me the advice i need so desperately right now. I love you so much. I hope you know that.
-Kayelee Campbellbrett jackson, November 9, 2009, 5:28am
The American Fork High School Marching band has returned victorious! For the 19th year in a row we are State Champions and for the second year we are the Western Region Champions! This has been a perfect and amazing season but there is one thing that would really truely complete it.....going to Indianapolis for the Grand National Championships!!! Unfortunently we are short on funds to do so, but you can help! PLEASE!!! if you know of ANYONE who would be willing to and could help us please let me know! It is extreamly short notice since we will have to have raised $200,000 by Monday or Tuesday of this week, but ANY donations and help will be graciously accepted. When you recieve this please SPREAD THE WORD!!!!! We thank you all for your suport this year and the amazing people you are. With everyones help this could just be a dream come true.
With All Love and Gratitude,
Brett Edwin Jackson
American Fork High School Marching Band
Trumpet Sectionsdlaney, November 8, 2009, 6:28pm
Thank you Heather. Knowing you has changed my life and I will never go back. I love you and will never forget you.
Liz LaneyMichele Fluckiger, October 30, 2009, 9:35pm
I miss you desperately. I miss your laugh and your jokes; the fact that you would misplace your keys, flip flops, and charts on the practice field, they usually all being in the same place; losing your voice so badly you resulted to hand signals during woodwind warm ups; your kindness, your friendship, your enthusiasm for your work; your love and dedication for your students. I miss asking your advice.
I miss the things we can’t do together the most. Introducing you to more than the fabulous clam chowder at Zupas; singing Broadway at the top of our lungs when driving to band camp; drinking Dr. Pepper when we were supposedly off caffeine and carbonation; watching silly movies on your laptop; sharing a hotel room and staying up too late watching marching bands and winter guards; giving Macintosh tips to someone who was so tech-savvy; crocheting in the stands while waiting for results, getting all kinds of “old-bitty” remarks from our kids.
But most of all, I miss your leadership in my life. We joked that I was the one that kept you in line. I think we did it for each other. You also sought my advice and I know you valued my opinion. I’m glad to know that you used my help when you were perfectly capable of doing it alone.
Heather, I want to say thank you for so many things, I’m sure I couldn’t name them all. Thank you for all the laughs. I’ve never had so much fun walking a parade route than when we counted all the mullets on the young and the old, male and female population of Lehi, UT. Thank you for introducing me to the goodness of candied coconut on the streets of New York City. I remember the day you first told me about it. We spent that day looking for a vendor that had the coconut as well as the nuts and that evening when we finally found some, I didn’t particularly love it. You were shocked. You tasted it, and sure enough, it was burnt. The next day we found more and I gave it another shot, and loved it. Thanks for bringing me some this last summer, though I never did see it. It was the thought that counted. Thank you for the late night dinners at Café Rio. Thank you for the gripe sessions when we vented our frustrations over staff that didn’t think we could do our job. Thank you for convincing John you needed my help during warm ups at Grand Nationals, because I really wanted to be there. But mostly I want to say thanks for your vote of confidence in me. You never made me feel like I was just the flute staff. That means a lot, especially now when there are no more “Go ask Heather”s. Those kids look to me for their answers now.
Heather, friends really are friends forever because the Lord is the Lord of them. This song we’ve sung thousands of times holds greater meaning for me now. I look forward to the day we can resume our friendship. I’m sure even then I’ll look to you for guidance. Ask you whether you’d like a particular lick played a certain way, confirm bad sounding notes in rehearsals, give attention to visuals during woodwind features, and generally admire your talent in running a rehearsal. I’ll be the keeper of your scores anytime and in any band you conduct.
I love you and miss you,
Michele FluckigerGeoffrey Bodily, October 23, 2009, 5:35pm
Thank you so much for all that you did for our section! I know we were a pain to deal with sometimes, but you were always there to keep us on our toes and make sure that we not only got done what was expected of us but also helped us have a great time. You were always laid back and optimistic, and you helped us keep our goals in mind while still being able to have fun. This mindset has helped me greatly throughout high school, college, and now on my mission.
I am going to miss you, you were truly a great teacher, a great staff member, and a great friend who honestly cared about each of us. Once again, thank you for everything you've taught us and done for us, it has changed my life and I know it has changed the lives of many others. God be with you 'til we meet again.
Bass Clarinet '05-'08Brooklynn Hammon, October 23, 2009, 8:28am
I will always remember Heather. She was awesome. It was always fun to go to band practice with her as our staff. We were her little "yayhoos". We would always quote movies and make up little things to remember rhythms and such. She was a great musician, teacher and friend. When we crashed, and found out about her, I was crushed. but i knew in my mind that she wanted to save our lives and that was all that mattered to her at that moment. I am so grateful for that. She is and forever will be my hero. I have no doubt in my mind that she really did save my life. I will always be greatfull. I loved Heather so much. I always felt comfortable going up and talking to her when i had a problem and she would help me with it no matter what it was about. She will be missed very much by everyone. The sunday after, at church my sister told us something to help us cheer up. she said "just think, Heather is up there right now trying to get Moroni to drop trumpet and pick up Clarinet and calling Nephi a little yayhoo for being out of step. and is buisy tuning the choir." we all know that would be true and all just laughed a little bit. it really did brighten up our spirits becuase know she really would do that. On the white board in the band room, we all wrote quotes that Heather had said to us. the white board was full. there was no room to write anything. the band room is full of emails and cards from bands across the country. Heather was an amazing person and will be remembered my all of us.Laura Sorci, October 21, 2009, 10:03am
My daughter is a member of the Stoneman Douglas Eagle Regiment from Parkland Florida. I just read about the tragedy on the Charms website.
From our band family to yours, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family of Ms. Christensen.Dan and Jan Paxman, October 19, 2009, 1:44pm
In Wind Symphony I remember Heather would always give compliments before giving advice on how to be more excellent. Also when we would come play percussion for concert band we had good times with Heather conducting. She was/is a class act! Thanks Heather!
AF Drum Line 'firstname.lastname@example.org, October 18, 2009, 11:09pm
I think my first contact with Heather was when I was a student at Snow College, I was scheduling a tour for the Wind Symphony and I called her to schedule a time for our group to play at Riverton High. That was in spring 2000. I didn't meet Heather again until she was on staff at AF, and I was introduced to her through Michele. I remember meeting them at Bridgrland Band Invitational on cold day in October. I made a Starbucks run and brought back hot chocolate, to which Heather replied something like this, "Thank you! You are my hero!" I had many more brief but enjoyable experiences with her over the years, but this is the one memory that formed in my brain over and over. Her words to me that day are what I would like to say now, Heather - Thank you! You are my hero! You have shown me what it means to teach well, to live well, and to love well. And, you opened my eyes to the wonderful world peppermint hot chocolate, which I can't seem to live without on a cold day.
Ruth Ann YoungJeff Phillips, October 17, 2009, 7:48am
On behalf of our band, we extend our sympathy to you in your time of loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Jeffrey T. Phillips
Band and Orchestra Director
Hendersonville High School
123 Cherokee Road
Hendersonville, TN 37075
School of Music
1900 Belmont Boulevard
Nashville, TN 37212
Immediate Past President
American School Band Directors Association
128 Allen Drive
Hendersonville, TN 37075
615-824-4977Janna Crane, October 16, 2009, 9:28pm
There aren't words to say how grateful I am for Heather and how much I miss her. I was a last-minute addition to the band last year for the 2008 show "Island." It was a really overwhelming time, but one thing I remember is how fun and amazing the staff were, Heather in particular. Although we never really talked personally that first year, she was one of the reasons I kept going when I wanted to quit. Heather was selfless. I believe that in the moment that she grabbed that bus wheel, she was thinking of all of us, not of herself and what might happen to her. She gave her life to us until the very end. I feel very privelleged to have known her. She wasn't only a teacher; she was a friend dear to all of us. And I think there's one way you can see that. We didn't call her "Ms. Christensen." We called her Heather.
~Janna CraneJessica Kimball, October 16, 2009
I remember heather writing our drill for colorguard. I remember thinking this lady is so funny. Then she was in charge of the wasach acadamy guard and i remember thinking thats so cool there lucky to have her. Then at marching band she always said the funniest things like if your going to suck dont and whenever the guard and woodwinds were working on stuff together i could always ask her things when my instructors were busy.
By jessica kimballAmy Crane, October 16, 2009, 1:37pm
We didn't know Heather well, only met her and spoke with her a few times. But our daughters were blessed to be two of her students. They have spoken of her often, usually laughing as they tell of some funny thing that she said or did. They both have always had a great amount of love and respect for Heather. The American Fork Band program is truly amazing and Heather definitely had a hand in its greatness. Countless lives have been blessed and changed for the better because of this wonderful band program. It has been incredible for our family to move from Arizona a year ago and to be immediately taken in by the American Fork Band family. It was truly an answer to our prayers for our daughter.
Now we will always hold a special place in our heart for Heather, because in addition to all the great things she taught our daughters, she saved our daughter's life. Because of her, we still have our daughter with us. It is impossible to express in words how grateful we are to Heather.
"When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods.
"Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."
(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Ministering Angels" Oct. 2008 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
The words of this scripture came into my mind as I lay awake next to my daughter's hospital bed last Saturday night, thinking about Heather.
Heather, thank you for saving our daughter's life!
Amy and Nathan Cranejonathan.simpson, October 16, 2009, 10:48am
Today, Tuesday, October 13th, in honor of Heather and AF, the band students at Copper Hills High School are wearing red and black as well as red and black ribbons over their hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with Heather’s family, the American Fork Marching Band, and Heather’s junior high school band during this time. We know that Heather is a hero, not only in the way that she died, but in the way that she lived her life. She was my Drum Major at the University of Utah and I learned much of what I know about marching band from her. She will always be a part of CHHS bands because of the many things that she taught me.
Copper Hills High School
Director of BandsMershon, Christopher A., October 15, 200911:11am
There are periods in each of our lives, those defining moments when what we truly believe comes out.
Your actions last Saturday night were truly reflective of who you are and what you believe.
Not thinking of your self, but of the greater good.
"The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few, or the one"
You have left an imprint that will not soon be forgotten on your school, our community and our nation.
My love and prayers are with your family.
Chris MershonAlexandra Gillies, October 15, 2009, 7:46am
Heather is one of my many heroes. Now she is in my top 3. When ever me and others talked about her, we would laugh and I would always say, " I love Heather! She's my hero." Before every performance Heather would always give us an inspiring speech. One of the many things she says was "Make it a Dr. Pepper performance." She gave us a lot of intensity, and you always knew she wanted us to always do better.
The funniest memory I have of Heather is she was always knitting. Last year when we went to St. George for the Red Rocks competition I remember we were just about to leave the hotel. We are sitting in the lobby when I see Heather knitting little booties. It turns out she was knitting booties for her cats :-). Mr. Arnold said something like, "I think in the next few years there will be an article in the news paper saying that you are the worlds best cat lady." or some thing like that. I don't really remember.
To top this all off, Heather was some one that cared. She loved her students. To be honest we all loved her back. She died because she cared. We love her and no matter what she will always be with us at school, rehearsal and at competitions saying, "Make it a Dr. Pepper performance... for the love"Dale Bodily, October 15, 2009, 7:26am
Geoff is in Hong Kong on a mission. We informed him about Heather, and this is his response:
The news about Heather is very sad. She was a great staff member and was always so nice to us. She was always looking out for us and made sure that we had a good experience, especially our section (she played Bass). What she did was truly heroic and it is an honor to have known her.
Geoff BodilyParker Robinson, October 14, 2009, 10:09pm
I've had an amazing opportunity to know, learn, work with, and befriend Heather. I first met her when I was a student at American Fork my Freshman year. She was there my entire high school marching band experience. I played with her in Wasatch Winds, and staffed with her at American Fork. She had a passion for music and the impact it can have possitively on peoples lives that can't be described. I am forever thankful for the example of leadership she gave, and also the unwavering trust of friendship. I have an eternal love for music and, and a lot of that love comes from the example and dedication she showed every minute of every day. She truly was an amazing individual. I will miss her immensly and never forget the things she taught and lived for. Thank you Heather, you're a hero amongst all who knew you
-Parker RobinsonDiana Darrington, October 14, 2009, 6:58pm
I am a Caveman from the class of 1979, and I have never felt such pride and heartache at the same time. I am truly proud of the tradition of the American Fork Marching Band and it's great to see this tradition carried on through so many years. I didn't know Heather, but it's obvious the impact she has had on so many people. What a tribute you have given her by carrying on when your hearts are so heavy. I wish all the best to the members of the band and to Heather's family. Just remember the type of person she was and how she lived her life. There would be no better tribute to her.
Diana Hunter DarringtonL. Fukuda, October 14, 2009, 5:37pm
We didn't know Heather but we wanted to express our deepest condolences to her family and friends, the faculty, the marching band and the extended band families. Our thoughts are with you. The Fukuda family, Clovis West High School Marching Band, Fresno, CAHolly Blanco, October 14, 2009, 2:24pm
http://www.deseretnews.com/photo/slideshow/4/And-the-band-played-on.htmlTony Krull, October 14, 2009, 1:53pm
To the family of Heather,
My family and I are so thankful for the time that they got to share with Heather, expanding there music knowledge and talent with her. She is a fantastic Lady. The heroic act that she performed in behalf of her students will be forever remembered and treasured. My heart is full of gratitude for her. She will be missed, until we meet again. Thank You!
Love the Krull FamilyJan Vogelsberg, October 14, 2009, 1:51pm
Thank You Heather!!
Over 200 mom's from the AFHS Marching Band (including myself) tenderly woke up their kids for school this past Monday morning. Each child had puffy eyes from crying themselves to sleep the night before. They love you! They respect you! They miss you!
Each teenager is tired, and their hearts are broken... but their family, friends, leaders and the Lord will be here to help them through this difficult time in their young lives.
Thank you Heather for making sure that our kids would still be here to wake up for school today!
We miss you!
With Eternal love and gratitude,
Jan and Rob Vogelsberg and Family
(parents to center snare drum player "Devin")Casey Bowen, October 14, 2009, 12:36pm
As a member of the Idaho State University Marching Band, the tragic events of this previous weekend have shaken our band to the core. To have such a horrible event occur so shortly after a moment of triumph has had many of us contemplating our lives. We would like to show our deep concern and sympathy by sending cards and flowers in remembrance of Heather. If you could please let me know where to send them, it would be greatly appreciated.
ISU Marching Band member
2122 Colonial Lane
(208) 233-6213Logan Edvalson, October 13, 2009 3:43pm
Heather was my teacher for two years and during those years I learned so much. I learned why Rico was worse than Vandoren and that using your core muscles can help you to keep from bouncing when you are marching. I have not gone one day without wishing she was still here giving me advice and helping me with the articulations in the music. I knew that she was happy because she had all the friends in the world. She had such a bubbly personality that it was impossible to stay mad at her for any more than 10 seconds. Her integrity surpassed anyones I know. I can't remember any time that she lied to us or anyone. I wish I was able to tell her how much I loved her before she went but I know that she knows. Goodbye Heather.Alex Hess, October 13, 2009, 3:20pm
I remember a time when I was Trying to march and the funniest thing that i had learned from her was, If you don't know then do it again. This is a time when i was trying to back march. My favorite quote from her was, "How many of you know that you are bouncing when you back march? So you don't know. Lets do it again. That was a good time.Dan and Jan Paxman, October 13, 2009, 3:23pm
I will always remember Heather by her smile. She was serious about her work, yet she always found something to laugh about. Her energy was contagious!
Recently I received a handout from the school where my younger children, Jordan and Emily, attend announcing a musical theatre class being offered in the community. The class was called "Up with Kids". The show they would be doing was a combination of The Wizard of Oz and Wickedscaled down a bit for younger kids to do. My kids were excited about it so I called the director to ask more questions. When the line was answered there was a familiar voice. It was Heather's!! You can't mistake her voice. I was really excited to hook back up with her after having been around her so much when I worked with the band! Heather's plan for the show sounded awesome, so I signed both kids up.
For the past four weeks they have enjoyed so much her fun personality and enthusiasm at their rehearsals. They learned so much and would come home each week practice the songs and choreography she had taught them. I wondered how she was finding time to fit this in with all the other things she was involved in. But that was Heather.
When the news came of her sacrifice, we were all so very shocked, saddened and sorry. Tears fell and little hearts were broken. Emily, cried and cried. And after we talked about what we know to be true and where Heather is now, she dried her tears and said, "Mom, I think if someone had to die, Heather would have wanted it to be her and none of her band kids." I agreed with her, so grateful that the band kids on that bus were all safe and accounted for with no serious injuries, and since that time Emily hasn't cried but is sure about where Heather is and that she is OK.
I am glad to have known Heather Christensen. She expected a lot from all "her kids" but when excellence was achieved, it was well worth it!
We will all miss her very much!
Jan PaxmanRita Leyva, October 13, 2009, 2:37pm
I want to express my condolences for the loss of Ms. Christensen. As a high school band parent myself, I know that her heroic efforts will be forever etched in the minds of the band students and more importantly the band student parents. I completely feel the pain and have the tears, as if my son and our band was a part of your family also. My prayers are with you all, especially Ms. Christensen’s family/friends, the injured students and all the students and directors.
With heartfelt sorrow,
Steele High School
Schertz Cibolo Universal City ISD
Cibolo, TXMark Messick, October 13, 2009, 8:37am
Thanks for teaching my daughter Shari and son Cameron. Thanks for saving my daughter.
You will be missed.
Thanks Mark MessickJames Wilson, October 13, 2009, 8:36am
I had the pleasure of teaching Heather in Marching Band and then working with her as a staff member at American Fork High School. As a students she was a terrific leader. I believe the first time we went undefeated as a Marching band in the state was when she was the Drum Major in 1993. She did such an outstanding job! Many memories of Heather all seem to center around the word fun. She was fun to be around at work or just hanging out. I remember the fun we had at Band Camp playing ping pong, scaring Sonja in the hot tube via the intercom and trying not to wake the boys sleeping on the floor of the cafeteria while sneaking to the kitchen to get ice-cream. We could never make it in with out laughing and waking them up! I also remember you and Sonja running around the HFAC at BYU playing Charlies Angels and you posing with your hair over your face and sunglasses on (looking curiously like cousin "it") at rehearsal in Indianapolis. It was freezing cold so I guess it helped! You always knew how to have fun and not get to up tight.
I know that my life was positively influenced by Heather and I feel a sense of loss at her passing. She was a great musician, teacher and friend.
American Fork H.S. Marching Band
1990-2003Tiffany Miller, October 13, 2009, 8:15am
My dear friend, I have been trying to find the words to write how I feel. I miss you terribly but am so proud of you and the sacrifice you made for our kids. I will always remember all the jokes we made at band rehearsal 16 years ago (you on the podi...um, me on the field), our interpretation of "the sun will come out tomorrow", hanging out at your apartment with Sarah and Kim, your visits to see me in the hospital, our old movie marathons, winter guard drama, and many many more memories. I have learned so much from you and I hope to live a better life because of your example.
Because I knew you, I have been changed for good!!
I love you Heather.
carakennedy, October 13, 2009, 7:21am
To the members of the American Fork High School Band,
I know how dear to our hearts our Band Director's are to our band so we can only imagine the pain you are feeling right now. Our thoughts and prayers are with your staff, students, and parents during this time.
Halls High School Band
Knoxville, TNbrett jackson, October 13, 2009, 6:59am
Heather died the way she lived. A hero. She saved lives not only in her last moments on earth but every day, in the way she upheld her values and showed her light. She touched people. She made them laugh, made them happy and made them want to be better. She was one of those few that you never saw have a bad day, and if she did it was over in an instant. Because she knew that life is too short to dwell on the negative, and she exemplified that in her every day life. She served her fellow brothers and sisters perpetually and gave her life to protect those she loved more then anything. With out thinking she threw her self at the wheel to protect her little ones. People ask if she was married or had kids, I respond that, "No, she wasn't married, but she did have kids." to this i get a quizzical look and explain, "she had 200 kids. Her babies that she loved above anything and would have done the same thing for any of us." she lived great. she died great. a hero to everyone involved and otherwise. And as we do this show this year we do it in remembrance of her. We have dedicated this show to heroes and now we have one that was so close to our hearts. We will put all our emotion into this and it will be astounding, having her spirit to be there with us, yelling to crescendo louder. We pray for her family, for all involved in the 2nd bus and for the driver. I love the band with all my heart and would have gladly taken the place of anyone that was injured, and and i can only hope that i would be as strong, as brave, and as faithful Heather was. May we all strive to emulate her actions in our lives. We love you Heather, and we will never forget.
~Brett Edwin JacksonSusan Fenster, October 13, 2009, 6:59am
I am a band mom from Gateway High School in Monroeville, PA and my heart goes out to Heather’s family, friends as well as the band family she has left behind. I understand the kind of “family” band brings to your life, and I am sure the American Fork band will never quite be the same! My thoughts and prayers are will all of you, and I know that the legacy Heather leaves behind will stay with all of the band members and staff for a lifetime to come! As a band parent, I thank goodness that there are band leaders and staff who look out for our kids on a daily basis! Bless you all and may your memories be a comfort to you…
Susan FensterDevin Vogelsberg, October 12, 2009, 11:53pm
Heather is the best example for me on how I want to live the rest of my life. She wants me to be an example and laugh and have fun! She wants all of us to succeed in everything we do and be full of love for one another! I love the unity that this tragedy brought us.... It's hard but I know that we can lift each other up and get through this together! :) Shall we not go on in so great a cause?
I Love you Heather!
You'll always have plenty of room in my heart!
Devin VogelsbergSteven Dawson, October 12, 2009, 11:00pm
If You’d Have Known Heather
If you’d have known Heather
It would be plain for you to see
All the gifts she gave,
Her thoughts for you and me
If you’d have known Heather
It would be plain for you to see
She was not ordinary
We think her extraordinary
If you’d have known Heather
It would be plain for you to see
There was not one other like her
No one who can replace her
She gave her life,
Not in an instance on a bus
But through her life she gave her life
Not for herself---
But for all of Us
Because I do know Heather
My life has been changed for the better
If you’d have known Heather
It would be plain for you to see,
Your life would be changed for the better
Because of her thoughts for you and me
--- In Memory of Heather ChristiansenWill Ingram, October 12, 2009, 10:15pm
When you switch John 15:13 to 13:15 and put in Heather, it's another great, true verse.Jeff and Maureen Steltz, October 12, 2009, 9:32pm
To the members and families of the American Fork Marching Band -
We want you to know our hearts are with you with the sudden loss of your teacher and the injuries both physical and emotional of your band. We know your loss only too well as we also lost our band director and four others in a bus crash four years ago while returning home from a marching band competition.
We will keep you in our prayers as you take the field in competition on Tuesday, We know it will be the most emotional performance you have ever given. It will also be your best. We know you will honor her with your music. In music she has shared with you a wonderful gift that will remain a part of each of you and give you solace in the coming days.
Take good care of each other.
Jeff and Maureen Steltz
Marching Cardinal Band Parents
Chippewa Falls, WisconsinA Porter, October 12, 2009, 8:47pm
Heather I love you and I'll miss you so much! If I've learned one thing from you it's how to get over my problems and just make great music. Thank you so much for helping me with everything I asked for, and for wearing my BYU hoodie that one day, and for inspiring me to never stop working hard. I think that when we say to work hard and have fun, you really think it means that it is fun to work hard, because for you that was always true. You loved your job and you're an example to everyone of living your dreams by working hard to get there. I will never forget you and everything you've gone out of your way to do for me. I'm so glad I got the opportunity to spend some one on one time and build a special bond with you, so that I could have memories to cherish. I promise I will try to "stop being such a whiner". I watched the movie 'What About Bob' and thought of you the whole time and how hard you would have been laughing. Thank you, I love you, and even though I miss you I know that a part of you lives on in each of us, and that you are a true hero we will always look up to and remember.
Love and Hugs from Smashley PorterMellaina Adams, October 12, 2009, 8:33pm
Heather is my hero. The Lyrics to "Here's to the Hero's" are a perfect example of what she did for me and the rest of the students.
Here's to the heroes,
Those few who dare,
Heading for glory,
Living a prayer.
Here's to the heroes
Who change our lives.
Thanks to the heroes,
Here's to the heroes
Who never rest.
They are the chosen,
We are the blessed.
Here's to the heroes
Who aim so high.
Here's to the heroes
Who do or die.
Here's to the heroes
Who aim so high.
Here's to the heroes
Who do or die.
Here's to the heroes
Who do or die.
I will never be able to explain my love for her. She has always been such an example to me. I loved all the random things she would say that would just make my day. She was such a fun person. I know she loves us all. She will always be with us. Thank you Heather. We love you.
EmmaLee Cook, October 12, 2009, 8:17pm
Heather was a great inspiration to everyone. We all loved her so much. My friend and I sat in the row behind Heather. I was excited to have a chance to get to know her. I always knew that anyone could go to Heather with anything. Most of us that were towards the front were talking to Heather about movies. After the competition Heather was talking about the little pre-school kids she taught and how they just made her laugh. She was talking about what she was going to be for Halloween with her little students. She was talking about how much she loved them. After dinner she was talking about her food. I was glad she could tell any of her students anything about her life. She was everyone's friend. I really think she wanted to be everyone's friend. During the trip, we were watching some of her favorite things. They made us all laugh! That's how I remember Heather. Always happy and making everyone else around her happy. No one liked unhappy Heather. She liked being Happy Heather. I don't really remember what happened before we crashed. One of the last things I saw was Heather going to helped the unconscious bus driver. That was my last memory of Heather. I hope I can always remember her acts of heroism and bravery. She was there on that bus to save a protect all of her students. I hope we can all remember her for her fun spirit and bright countenance. That's how I will remember her. Happy Heather.
AFMB Flute, 2009 'The Greatest Generation'Daniel Luo, October 12, 2009, 8:02pm
Hello American Fork,
I am a student from the Thousand Oaks Lancer Band. You may or may not recall dominating us at Vegas BoA last year. Truly does your program excel at what you do.
Even here in Southern California, we have heard of the great tragedy which has stricken your program. I have not consulted with any of my fellow band members in the writing of this letter, but I am sure that we, all together, would like to express our sincere grief for your loss. In fact, it is not just your loss, but also our loss. The world of marching band has surely lost one of its greatest, and we feel your pain. I am sure that this is nothing new to your ears, but Heather Christensen is most definitely a hero to be remembered. Her actions saved the lives of many students who could potentially have been killed.
We remember you as the band that excels, the band that helps set the definition of marching band. May you continue to put your hard work, sweat, and tears in for the love of music. We are with you all the way. Our prayers go out to you.
We are all brothers and sisters here.
Daniel LuoEllie John, October 12, 2009, 7:41pm
Heather always knew what to say to make us happy, even when she was in a bad mood. She loved us with all her heart, and I know that she will always keeping watching over us. We loved being able to be around her and hearing her jokes. It's really hard to believe that we wont's ever get to see her sign Wow on the field again. We all miss her very much, and will always remember her in our hearts. What she did was an act of love, and I'm always going to remember her for that. Thank you Heather for being the best woodwind staff we could ever have.Katelyn Smith, October 12, 2009, 7:25pm
Heather was such a fun person! I was lucky enough to have private clarinet lessons from her for a short while. Even when I didn't practice, she was so kind about it and just had me play what I did know. She always told me not to stop when I made a mistake, to just keep going. That could be a life lesson in many ways. Heather was the nicest, funnest, and funniest person I have ever known, and I was so very, very fortunate to know her! I love her so much!!! I know I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for what she did on the bus. My life is truly indebted to her, and I will forever strive to be a better person, and live like she did- "...in the service of her fellow men." I have been pondering the scripture in John 15:13 ever since the accident, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." I know she loved us so much that she was willing to give even her own life to save us. I love her so very much, and I will always remember her in my heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I LOVE YOU HEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Holly Blanco, October 12, 2009, 6:43pm
O dear Father, my old home town has had some trouble tonight.
On the bus ride home things just didn't go right.
off to the side of the road it crashed it was such a mess
Young and old stunned and with a feeling of distress
Dear Father please bless those hurt so severe,
that they will feel thy presence very close and near.
Bless that no more will return home to heaven tonight
and that everyone else will eventually heal and become right.
Bless dear old AF High,
I am sure that they have reason to cry
Bless the community home of a band that was the very best.
Let them have peace and tonight get some rest
Tomorrow the sun will come up to the East
Let all attend whatever their church and celebrate the Fathers feast.
You kids worked hard and did your best
In Pocatello tonight, you passed the test
Normally the band was always the safe place to be
But now there is trouble in all things we see.
But pick up your horn and straighten it out,
You will show this world what life is about
and last give thanks for the lives that were saved
I'm sure to rescue another many perals you braved.
I was in the AF Band 40 years ago,
But I'll always watch when I get a chance to watch your show.
Not much more to say and it's time to go
But Father just keep an eye on earth below.
Love Andy Pedersen Smithfield, Utah
Dan and Jacque Dockery, October 12, 2009, 6:40pm
Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you!Lindsay Vest, October 12, 2009, 6:23pm
Heather was such an amazing person. Its so incredibly hard to explain the impact that she has had on my life. Heather taught me to laugh, have fun, and be the greatest person that I can be. She was my Music Appreciation teacher, a staff member, and a best friend.
In class she taught us to love music. She had a passion for her instruments, and had such a desire to make each one of her students fall in love with music. She never treated us as students, but more as friends.
During Marching band she was always coming up with new body movement for the band, and new visuals for everyone. I can just see her haveing dreams of random visuals for our show, or just dreaming of our show in general... that is when she got sleep. She did so much for everyone. She was always in the high school band room, in her classroom, on the field or teaching my little sister the basics of colorguard. She worked with my little sister Makayla. She taught her how to spin, to love dance, but most of all how to have fun. She always had a smile on her face.... Even if she was making fun of you.
The last thing Heather said to me was "lindsay... did you have a wardrobe malfunction? at least you didnt come in 4 counts early". It was after retreat at the Pocatello Competition. But after she said all that stuff. We could all laugh about it. Because thats just who Heather was. The person that always made you happy and always made you laugh. One of my fond memories of Heather, was one day at band rehearsal. And I walk up to her (thinking im all cool) and I say "Heather you look like this girl, that is the director of a winterguard...do you have a sister or something?" OMG did she laugh about this. She told every staff member, and laughed some more... until my colorguard director Tiffany came up to me and said... "Lindsay, the woman your thinking about, is Heather"
To the family.... I appreciate you letting Heather adopt all of us as her children. I love her so much, and my prayers are with you all.
With love,Sam Beeson, October 12, 2009, 4:09pm
I knew Heather very little, but the little I knew was big.
I loved her voice. She probably got tired of my saying it, but it was true: "Whoa, you got a great voice," I'd say. "Ha! I hear that all the time," she'd say. "Are you a singer?" I'd ask. "Ha! I'm not a singer . . . but I love music," she'd say.
My daughter cried when she heard Heather had passed away. Heather was like a wonderful road on a flowery hill. A road that disappoints the hiker when it comes to a halt, but oh what a well-kept road it was. Heather was a means to the peaks and smells and colors of the unique places, the good paths, the lovely groves.Townsend Family, October 12, 2009, 3:18pm
My girls we very excited to learn about a youth singing and acting class in the community, called Wonderfully Wicked Wizard of Oz. I had a lot of questions since I had not heard of Up With Kids before. Heather was very prompt with her email answers back to me. After the class started I wrote to tell her my girls were loving it. She replied again, and said that she, too, loved the music and singing with the kids. We were new to her program this fall and fell in love with her personality immediately!John Pew, October 12, 2009, 11:53am
I didn't know Heather well, but I could tell that she was a dedicated teacher and musician. I have seen her conduct one of the bands at a couple of band concerts and she was a gifted musician. Not only was her technique outstanding, she commanded a respect from her stduent that was evident in their playing. She will be sorely missed.WebmasterAmerican Fork High School © 2011AFHS Home Page