One of the 17 victims of February 14’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was Alex Schachter. Schachter, 14, was a lifelong UConn fan and hoped to come to Storrs after high school and play trombone in the marching band, following in the footsteps of multiple family members.
Shortly after the shooting, UConn issued Schachter a posthumous letter of acceptance and his family has since started a band scholarship in his name.
On Thursday, during halftime of UConn’s season opener against No. 23 UCF, the marching band paid tribute to Schachter by playing his favorite song, “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago. They also left a trombone spot in his honor.
His father, Max Schachter, met the media before the game wearing his son’s oft-worn gray UConn sweatshirt for the first time.
“It’s indescribable,” he said. “After February 14, I was in the worst place. I hated life. I hated the world. I wanted to die. And a week later, to get the letter from UConn saying they were going to admit Alex to the school that he always wanted to go to, the school that his mother went to, the school that his brother went to, the school that he came to in the summers and dreamed about being in the band and meeting his idol, Ray Allen. It was incredible.
“It made me have faith in society again.”
Schachter is trying to raise money for a scholarship for a band member in his son’s memory and is soliciting donations in order to make that happen.
“I’m going to talk to [the band] and thank them for everything they’ve done,” he said.
In addition to playing Chicago and spelling out his name during their halftime performance, the pep band wore ribbons during last basketball season.
“They made it clear they lost one of their own,” he said.