Mr. Craig Hay: Veteran Band Teacher and Director


Band Teacher and Director Mr. Craig Hay poses in front of the auditorium.

One cannot speak of music in Hopkinton without including the name “Mr. Hay.”

Hay is the K-12 Music Subject Matter Leader of the entire school district. He has taught and directed the high school band for the past nine years. However, he has worked at the high school even before that. In fact, this is his 30th year.

“My dad actually knew him when he was in high school,” said sophomore percussionist Cecilia Franks. “Mr. Hay was once the assistant to Mr. Yevaro, the old band director.”

Hay taught at elementary and middle schools across Massachusetts. This was where he developed one of his favorite teaching memories, “One of my favorite memories was taking the 5th-grade band to play at Center School on Flag Day,” Hay said.

Hay’s earliest aspirations of being a music teacher sparked in high school. Inspired by his science teacher, he wanted a career in a subject he loved and where he could also make a powerful influence on others. Being an avid musician, the answer was clear early on.

“I didn’t want to go the performance route,” Hay said. “I really enjoy bringing my passion to students to enjoy playing for the rest of their lives.”

Countless band students had wonderful things to say about Hay and his impact on their lives.

“Before meeting Mr. Hay, I was terrified,” said junior Natalie Bouffard. “The high school band held an air of authority and prestige that I aspired to be a part of. Come high school, Mr. Hay is the most reliably supportive teacher that a student could have. The band is a family because of Mr. Hay’s ability to create a welcoming community.”

Senior Luis De Leon Flores was equally as enthusiastic with his praise.

“When I moved to Hopkinton, everything was new. Luckily, when I came into the band, Mr. Hay seemed familiar because he was very similar to a band teacher I’ve had before,” he recalled. “Not only that, Mr. Hay is very approachable and is always ready to help anyone.”

Hay believes that it is essential to inspire his students, especially through music.

He describes some of his favorite aspects of his job as “the moment the group realizes what they are doing is more than just on the page and that they really make music [and] being able to step aside at a really good performance and allow the students to enjoy the applause for all their hard work.”

Even during the pandemic, Hay pushed the band to work their hardest. The efforts of his students and himself paid off, as the band took gold at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) competition in March of 2022.

“I was really proud of how the band came together after everything last year,” Hay beamed.

Hay’s diligence has never gone unnoticed, especially by members of the high school administration.

“Mr. Hay is always a friendly face and is one of the most helpful people,” assistant principal Ms. Laura Theis said. “He is passionate about the HHS music program and the wonderful students who get to be a part of it. We are lucky to have him.”