by Ethan Piechota
“His memory of you was joy, you brought him joy.”
Mr. Eugene Fabiero: leading the St. John Bosco band.
On Thursday, February 21st, 2019 at 1:25 PM, the St. John Bosco community lost a man who embodied the true spirit of a “Brave.”
The life of Mr. Eugene Fabiero won’t be remembered just through his love for instruments and music.
He won’t just be remembered for his love for traveling and venturing around the world, and exploring new places.
He won’t just be remembered for his iconic motorcycle that he rode to school from 90 minutes away every morning.
And he won’t just be remembered for his incredible impact on the St. John Bosco High School band program in such a short amount of time.
“He had a gift, and he was always living life to the fullest. He was always alive and engaging, and had a way of making the person in front of him feel cared for and important,” said Mr. Edward Torre, a religion teacher at St. John Bosco and close friend of Mr. Fabiero.
Mr. Fabiero’s impact on the people around him was apparent. He had the type of personality that could rub off on everybody, even if you didn’t “know” him.
“He had a great spirit with a great attitude. He lit up a room and had a special love for life. He really cared about his students,” said Mr. Martin Lang, a theatre director at Bosco.
Mr. Fabiero had a certain love and a special kind of relationship with his students that couldn’t be ignored. His goal was to truly let students express themselves and help them achieve their full potential, in any aspect of life, but most importantly in music.
“When you had a bad day, he’d be right there. You would automatically brighten up around him because he would always try to make you laugh. When we had a tough time [learning the instruments], he’d be patient and help us learn,” said Jordan Makkar, a senior band member at Bosco.
Being a senior at Bosco and a part of the band program for four years, Makkar testified to how Fabiero literally turned the program around and put the Bosco band back on the map.
“Two years ago we were doing really bad. He came in mid-September of 2017 and he turned us around just like that. It takes a lot for someone to come in and start from scratch and cultivate our program, and he did that,” said Makkar.
Mr. Fabiero came in during the midst of the 2017 Bosco football season, where the band plays an integral part during the games. On such short notice, Fabiero’s impact was seen right away and the band improved greatly.
“Our other music teacher had basically up-and-left. Fabiero came in and was immediately enthusiastic about the program. To hear about a program that was in need of leadership and to be built, he looked at that as an opportunity. He was always positive looking at things,” said principal Dr. Christian De Larkin.
Having a positive outlook on life is something that Mr. Eugene Fabiero will always be remembered for.
“As a band instructor he was able to make a very good connection [with us] while keeping everything professional,” said senior band member Mauricio Vargas.
While teaching music to his students, Mr. Fabiero spent a lot of his time playing music himself, and that of different cultures.
“He participated in a German music ensemble, and lived in Germany for some time. He spoke German as well, which you wouldn’t expect,” said Dr. De Larkin.
Fabiero earned his masters in Orchestral Performance in Germany at the Staatliche Hochschule Fuer Musik after receiving formal education at Cal State Fullerton.
Over the course of his music career, he performed in Germany, Japan and the United States. He was clearly a very cultural person that had a love for experiencing life. Through music, he found a love for playing different kinds of instruments and experiencing unique sounds.
“He was in this band where he just had a bunch of really crazy instruments,” said Anthony Nold, the media production director on campus.
Mr. Fabiero played the tuba. He was the tubist for the Suedwest Deutsche Philharmonie in Germany in 2001 and played in Gwen Stefani’s 2005 Solo Tour, as well in many other prestigious installments. He was the conductor for the Pacific Brass Society founded in Long Beach, California.
At St. John Bosco, Fabiero laid down a lasting impact on the band program in several different ways.
“He was adamant about getting a timpani. He would always say ‘we need to have timpani’s.’ He knew the sounds that he wanted the students to learn,” said Dr. De Larkin.
This love for different kinds of instruments expresses who he truly was as a person. Living life, trying new things, but always keeping a positive outlook, no matter the circumstances.
Even if you didn’t know Mr. Fabiero personally, you could tell what kind of person he was. He had the kind of personality that rubbed off on everybody. The joy with which he lived with was apparent and could be seen from the outside looking in.
He expressed this love not only at Bosco, but at home as well to his two children, Elsa and newborn Bastian, and to his wife Karin.
“His last message from him and his wife was that he was very thankful that this [Bosco] community welcomed him, and for the prayers and donations and everything,” said Mr. Edgar Salmingo, the vice principal of academic affairs at Bosco.
Mr. Torre and Mr. Salmingo worked closely with Mr. Fabiero through the directory and leadership of the Filipino Club on campus, and saw the joy that he lived with up close.
“When anything bad happened he would yell, ‘Holy Chow!’ and throw whatever happened out the window,” said Mauricio Vargas. “He didn’t really believe on a negative attitude.”
Even though Mr. Fabiero’s life has come to an end, his spirit will undoubtedly live on. Mr. Eugene Fabiero will have an impact on the St. John Bosco community for the remainder of time due to his bright personality and unparalleled love for life.
Through music and the playing of instruments, we can peacefully reflect on his beautiful and fulfilling life. He was the epitome of a Brave.