Renne Lyra Morrow followed in the footsteps of her two older brothers when she enrolled at UC Davis and joined the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh.
“In the process, she found out she had this calling toward music,” said the band’s director, Tom Slabaugh, who agreed to help when Morrow wanted to change her major to music from biochemistry. “She was so excited about that.”
But Morrow, 19, never got to make the switch. She died Tuesday morning, three days after being struck by a car in West Davis.
The Cal Aggie Band — which Slabaugh said fulfilled Morrow’s love of both music and people — will perform at a celebration of Morrow’s life at 2 p.m. Sunday at the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane.
Morrow’s family has asked that flower donations be directed to the Wiscombe Funeral Home, 116 D St. in Davis. An account has been established at Wells Fargo Bank to assist the family with expenses.
Slabaugh said Morrow’s death has dealt a blow to the popular Cal Aggie Band, which held a candlelight vigil the night before she died. Morrow played the sousaphone — the marching-band version of the tuba — and the tuba in the Concert Band.
A memorial of flowers, candles, plastic cups and a teddy bear now sits near the accident scene.
“Renne, Rest well my darling,” a mourner wrote on a heart-shaped note. “Loyal, Beautiful, Spirited, Dedicated, Loving. Forever missed, never forgotten.”
Slabaugh said Morrow “felt most at home” while playing with the Cal Aggie Band and was already well-acquainted with the program when she arrived from her hometown of Templeton in 2010. One brother, Sean Morrow, had played the baritone for the band, while Ryan Morrow was both a trombonist and drum major.
Students join the band with the expectation that school comes first, Slabaugh said. They’re instructed to deliver a note if they’re unable to attend a band event.
“If you’re above 90 percent (attendance), you’re considered to be what we call a ‘red-hot,’ ” Slabaugh said. “Renne’s attendance was 108 percent. She sent in no excuses.”
As she began the process of changing majors, Morrow recently engaged Slabaugh in a discussion about life changes, as well as the challenges and opportunities they bring, the band director recalled.
“There was this level of unbridled optimism that I absolutely adored about her, and that I’m going to miss tremendously,” Slabaugh said. “People come into your life all the time, and very few leave footprints on your heart. She left them on mine.”
Born: April 28, 1992
Death: February 7, 2012
Memorial donations may be made to:
Account at Wells Fargo Bank