New Britain High band director Kayser dies

Published on Monday, 19 June 2017 22:55
Written by Skyler Frazer

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN - The school system and the community on Monday mourned the death of one of the city’s leading educational figures - New Britain High School Band Director David Kayser.

The school district confirmed Kayser’s death in a Facebook post late Sunday night. Kayser, who had headed the band since 2009, had been battling cancer. He died shortly after 6 p.m.

He was a beloved figure at NBHS. In less than 24 hours since the Facebook announcement went up, the post has received more than 450 “likes,” more than 300 “shares” and more than 40 comments.

“It has been an honor to work alongside you for so many years! I can honestly say that I have learned as much from you as any of our students,” wrote NBHS Assistant Choral Director Jason Ferrandino in a Facebook comment. “Your memory lives on in the countless students you have inspired and the many colleagues who have been lucky enough to teach and perform alongside you.”

“My son and I are both heartbroken. My son looked up to him not only as the band director but as a father, as he would give my son advice on daily life situations,” wrote Kenisha Estrella Berrios in her Facebook comment. “I remember meeting him for the first time and him giving me a hug and telling me how we were both special because we both fought cancer and survived. Here I am writing this and in tears because he was an amazing person all I can think of is his family, his kids.”

Administrators also reflected on Kayser’s passion and his impact on NBHS and the community.

Principal Joseph Pinchera said Kayser’s passion for his work often meant long hours helping his students - even when he was battling cancer.

“We couldn’t keep him off the field,” said Pinchera.

Paul Salina, chief operations officer for the school district and a former band director, said Kayser did a fantastic job of maintaining the tradition of the marching band.

“If there’s one thing that New Britain is, it’s full of traditions,” Salina told The Herald. “David Kayser was also a person of tradition. … He embraced the traditions and carried them on through his tenure.”

School Superintendent Nancy Sarra said Kayser’s impact on the community is evident.

“Dr. Kayser had the unique ability to relate to students of all ages. Whether a student was in elementary, middle or high school, he always found a way to make a connection and leave a lasting impact. This impact also carried over into the lives of many staff members, parents and community members,” Sarra said. “He has touched the lives of thousands of people throughout his career and leaves behind a tremendous legacy.”

Pinchera said that Kayser’s focus was always on his students and making sure they were successful.

“Right up to the end - when Paul [Salina] and I went up to visit David in the hospital - his number one concern was the kids, making sure they were OK for graduation and the uniforms were taken care of,” Pinchera said. “That’s just David, a selfless individual.”

A candlelight vigil will be held for Kayser tonight at 7:30 outside the high school auditorium.

Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at

Posted in New Britain Herald, , General News, New Britain on Monday, 19 June 2017 22:55. Updated: Monday, 19 June 2017 22:57.