The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161918   Message #3851212
Posted By: CupOfTea
19-Apr-17 - 09:06 AM
Thread Name: Mentors: thanks and memories
Subject: Mentors: thanks and memories
It's Wednesday of Holy Week. I'm at work at the Cathedral, which is in a state of barely controlled chaos, as is typical. My phone rings, I go on with the work phone conversation about some details I need to see to. Rings again, I ignore.Third time, same person, I realize I need to answer it. And daggers went through my heart. The musical director at my church was dead.

Gary was so integral a part of my life for the last 14 years, every Thursday night and Sunday morning, changing me, my outlook, my life. It was his nurturing, jovial, forgiving, happy tutelage that got me started in playing and singing in front of others, and helped me improve all my musical skills. He also taught music, voice and dance at a local prep school, and the outpourings of grief and gratitude from his students overwhelmed me. "He changed my life - he showed me I could do things I never thought I was able to do" was like a refrain going through their praise and anguish. Our church was one segment of an overflowing, busy musical life.

He played, performed, and did choreography for a large number of small theaters and theatrical revues in the area. Musicals were a particular joy. We got to giggle when he'd sneak in a bit of some tune in instrumental postludes or offertory tunes. We joked about "Torchsongs for Jesus" We had this brilliant musician helping us each week to use music for liturgy in fresh and beautiful ways. Last year he headed our music ministry doing a workshop at Diocesan Convention where we introduced 400 Episcopalians to "World Music for Worship"

If not for Gary, I'd never have had the courage to do so many things with music. I owed him such thanks, and I am eternally grateful that I had had a conversation about that not two weeks previous to his death. I try to tell people how much they mean to me, and why, every so often. "Give me the Roses While I Live" has been a theme in my life for years. I've also extended this gratitude to those who've formed my musical taste through good influence. Many of them own embroideries of mine.

I urge you to, every so often, look at your life, and those who have had a positive influence on you, and TELL THEM. Do it while you can.

Joanne in Cleveland