Concert to honor former Baker student

Without her friend Jeremy, the band seems quieter.

His smile isn’t there anymore. His laughter, his sense of humor no longer can be heard throughout Rice Auditorium.

Junior Jessica Zehr hopes Jeremy Frye, a Baker senior who died last summer after a long bout with cancer, will be able to hear the Symphonic Winds concert Tuesday – a concert dedicated to him. She hopes he’ll be listening, hopes he’ll appreciate the sentiment.

“We know that he’ll be up there watching us and laughing at us,” she said.

Frye played the saxophone. Some days he sat near Zehr. Other days he sat next to someone else. But all days, he smiled, laughed and joked.

“Jeremy was a good friend,” she said. “We sat in the same section.”

Junior Eli Jones misses his bandmate. Jones, who plays the trombone, grew close to Frye during their time together in the band.

“J-Frye (Frye) always made band fun and entertaining,” Jones said. “He was a good player.”

Frye, who was a music education major, was finishing up his final semester at Baker when he slipped into a coma.

“He was taking a class from me this time last year when he started to not feel good,” Director of Bands Ray James said.

In October, the Jeremy Frye Memorial Trophy was established and presented to the grand champion band at the annual BU Marching Festival.

“He loved marching band. He loved band period,” James said. “What better name to put on it than Jeremy’s.”

James worked with Frye during his career at Baker. He even visited Frye in the hospital this past summer.

“I was there for a couple of hours the day he passed away,” he said.

Because of Frye’s dedication to the Baker band, it plans to perform “Elegy for a Young American” by Ronald Lo Presti at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Rice Auditorium.

“We could never do enough to remember what he would be doing if he were still here,” James said.

“And that is teaching young people.”

When Zehr picks up her saxophone at the concert, she’s going to play for her bandmate and friend. She’s going to remember the times they shared during football games and practices. Above all else, she’ll think about the person he was and the teacher he would be.

“He did a lot for the music department, and we all care about him,” she said. “I think he would like the gesture of (the concert). It’s a great way for us to remember him and honor the family as well.”