SOUTH THOMASTON, Maine — Richard Walton oversaw one of his final concerts Wednesday as music teacher for the Rockland area school system.

Walton is retiring next month after 44 years in music education, including 35 in the Rockland area system.

Principal Mary Alice McLean of the Gilford Butler School in South Thomaston, where Wednesday’s concert was held, praised “Sir Richard” as a kind, gifted musician. After the concert, numerous parents who had been his students came up to offer well wishes on his pending retirement.