Meet Your Mighty Titan: Geoffrey Castle
June 16, 2010 by Justice Jones
For almost a month, parents, students, and teachers have been working hard to figure out how and why T.C. is a persistently lowest achieving school. Even though these factors are of major importance, it seems as if the school system and media forgot to mention the points of pride that T.C. has produced for years. Within each graduating class, students take knowledge gained during their years as a Titan to accomplish above and beyond what some believe T.C. students are capable of.
Whether it’s going into politics, or playing Division I basketball, the graduates of T.C become some of the best in society, bringing that good old Titan pride wherever they go. The best way that graduates usually show their spirit is when they come back to their alma madder to share their experiences in life with the current students of T.C. “I feel like most of them come back successful and enjoy coming back to visit and are more willing to give back to the school.” said senior Grace Mbuyi. It brings an educational yet enjoyable moment to the school day. “When you hear the story that some of these people have to tell, it makes you look forward to your future and you get a feeling that after graduation, you have a chance to make a difference in the world,” Mbuyi said.
Sometimes these stories are not told through words or an educational video you may watch on a Friday in your history class. But they are stories told through music. Like the one Geoffrey Castle shared with some of the music department students by playing the electric violin.
While the sounds of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida filled the hallways by the auditorium, a student walking would think that a full rock band was putting on a performance for the students and teachers But that wasn’t the case. Geoffrey Castle, dressed in blue jeans and a funky rock and roll shirt, played covers from bands like the Temptations and Coldplay to roaring applauses from the crowd. “The first song was pretty sick. When I walked into the audience, I noticed how everyone was entertained. It was kind of like his violin was a guitar,” said junior Craig Stewart. Even though this performance was the highlight of some of the students’ day, the most interesting fact of the event was that Castle had a lot in common with the students here at T.C. He graduated from T.C. Williams in 1981 and began his career through a very interesting way.
While attending Columbia University, Castle earned a living from playing in the streets of New York City, earning almost 2 weeks’ wages in about 30 minutes a day. But Castle didn’t start playing while living in the city; it actually began right here in Alexandria. “I got my start in the Alexandria school system, where I started by playing the violin in 4th grade at Lyles Crouch Elementary School, and continued throughout middle and high school” Castle said. While attending T.C., Castle also played in the marching band. He was known as the first marching violinist in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is still to this day his favorite memory about attending T.C. Castle shared with many students and teachers his story about playing music on the streets and still being able to live his life to the fullest potential just by playing the violin. He also gave students a reason to look forward to their future. “I haven’t punched a time card for anyone in twenty years and I think that’s pretty cool” said Castle.
T.C. graduates like Castle prove to the world that T.C. Williams still rises to the occasion no matter what type of report is made against the school. These former Titans help to spread the school’s legacy and are providing inspiration for current students to follow through on their dreams.