Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Gentle Life

Today I have officially announced my retirement from a job I've held for 26 years. It's been a stressful 26 years, and full of changes as of late. While it was allowed me to expand upon my creativity and provided me with a good wage, pension and benefits, it has left me feeling battered and beaten. I am currently experiencing some health issues, no doubt due to the stress that has been building over the past three years.

As I heal mentally and physically in the coming weeks, I will be spending much more time with my harp. I am eagerly looking forward to feeling well enough to garden, cook and exercise, instead of rushing though my day and coming home to exhaustion, fast food and the recliner.

Only two weeks to go before I begin a gentler, simpler life. One filled with the creation of music, good food, good friends, and a comfortable home for myself, my husband, and my dogs.

I think I've earned it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mr. Moore's Opus

A few years ago there was a movie called Mr. Holland's Opus, about a band director and the influence he had the the lives of his students. Last night I got to experience this movie in real life.

Just 10 short weeks ago, a previous student of Mr. Guss Moore (retired) had the idea to gather past students for a special concert. Through tremendous effort and the help of friends, the concert came together. Two of my friends learned of it, and we got together with our husbands for a wonderful evening.

The non-band members among us sat in amazement was Mr. Moore began conducting, then moved to the clarinet, trombone, and tuba as the pieces progressed. Those of us who played in the band just smiled at the memories. It was Mr. Moore who taught me to play the trumpet, french horn, piano, clarinet, and sax. You see, I wanted to be just like him. I wanted to be a band director, too.

I didn't succeed in my childhood dream, but at least 20 other of his students did. Throughout the evening, one band director after another - all past students of Mr. Moore - came up to conduct - including his own son. Mr. Moore proudly announced that his grandson was now studying to become a third generation of band directors.

I have to thank Mr. Moore for a lifetime of loving music. My college years were spent in the music department at Oakland University where I continued my learning, including composition. I played keyboard in a folk group with friends, wrote music, sang in the church choir and finally came to play the harp.

It's a life-long love that began under the tutelage of a man who inspired so many.