Band Director Mr. Rath Set to Retire

After a decade and a half at Central and almost 40 years teaching, Tobias Rath is calling it a career.

By Stephanie Shuster

The head band director of Central High School, Tobias Rath, is retiring after teaching for 39 years. “I have an opportunity to retire at a good time in my life,” Rath said. “Being a band director is not for a person of advanced age. It takes a lot of energy.”

Rath has been teaching Central High School band for 15 years. For the first five years, he served as the assistant band director to Mark Bray, taking over as head of the department in the fall of 2009. Andrew Belsaas, the current assistant band director, is hoping to make the same maneuver as Rath, as he is applying for the position for head band director in the spring. However, he is sad to see Rath go. “Mr. Rath has been a delight to work with,” Belsaas said. “I know that with him retiring, he will have more time to spend with his wife and with his grandkids.”

Before teaching for the Rapid City Area Schools, Rath was the assistant band director for Groton High School for 24 years. At the end of the 2019 school year, Rath will retire and take a break from everything to spend time with his family and enjoy the retired life. He will never forget the time he had at Central. “There are too many band memories to mention individually,” he said. “However, my best memories collectively are usually on stage performing with the students.”