Bruha retires after 30 years of teaching music

“Life without music would be a Mistake

By Sherry Vogel

“Life without music would be a Mistake

Teresa Bruha

Teresa ‘Terry’ Bruha began her music career in the 6th grade when she was encouraged by her peers to sing for the teacher. The teacher was so impressed she invited the neighboring classrooms in to listen to Terry sing. That spring, she entered a talent show at her high school where she received a standing ovation and an audience request for an encore. Terry shared, “From that moment on I was hooked.” After that she became the ‘go-to’ vocalist for weddings, funerals and other community events.

After graduating from Wibaux High School in 1980, Terry attended Dickinson State College as a K-12 Composite Instrumental and Vocal Major. During this time she was fortunate to spend two weeks in Spain touring with a Swing Choir band. She also became a member of a country and western band that recorded a 45-vinyl record.

The band Terry was in was hired to play at the Fallon County Fair one summer. A local cowboy Doug Bruha, took it upon himself to teach the young, pretty performer to jitterbug and the rest is history. They were married in 1980, making their home in the Baker area.

When their two children, Guy and April began school, Mrs. Bruha began teaching in Plevna in 1987.

Mrs. Bruha recalls many very talented students over her 30-year teaching career at Plevna. She shared, “We had many fun trips to Music Festival, Marching Band, and Music Concerts in the four state area. She continued, “We also had great fun performing Dinner Theater productions. They were extremely well supported by the community.”

When asked about any challenges the music teacher faced during her career she answered, “The biggest challenge for me has been small class sizes when trying to cover all of the band instrumentation.” She then added, “This however, made our students stronger because they had to become independent players with only 1 or 2 on a part. It was also  a lot of fun when community members helped out for Pep Band.”

One could say music has been a lifestyle for Mrs. Bruha. Besides being a music teacher, she has also been very busy musically in the community. She volunteered her time as Director of the O’Fallon Community Choir for 12 years. She has also taught private guitar lessons and was the Music Director for St. John’s Summer Bible School and has ministered as Cantor/Guitarist for Mass.

Another fun event that Mrs. Bruha recalls is being a part of Baker’s 100 years Jubilee. She directed the Community Theater’s production of “How the West Was Really Won.”

In retirement, Mrs. Bruha plans to spend time with family, travel to more rodeos and quilt shows around the country. She would also like to reacquaint herself with her guitar and join the Cowboy Poetry circuit. She feels it would be fun to do more community theater, do lots of quilting, crafting, crocheting, rug making and help her husband Doug on the ranch.

In closing, Mrs. Bruha stated, “Plevna has been my home for 30 years. I have had the pleasure of working with outstanding staff members, administrators, community and especially all of my students.” She continued, “I have made many lifelong friends. The best reward is when a former student tells me that they are still are enjoying music with their families, churches, and communities.”

She paused, took a moment to reflect and stated, “Life without music would be a mistake.”

Thank you Mrs. Bruha for sharing your musical talents with all of us throughout these past thirty years. Congratulations on your retirement!