Sunday, October 7, 2012

Week 35 of 2012...Music...has it influenced you?

Absolutely...can you imagine a life without music?  I still wish I had learned to play the piano.  I just never committed to the years of lessons and hours of practice.  I get excited when I see my granddaughter Morgan taking piano lessons and practicing some of the same songs that I saw in early lesson books.  Maybe Morgan can carry on the tradition.  I remember my Dad trying to get us involved...even to the point of making out a lesson and practice schedule.  Mine was early in the morning before school and before he left for work...not an opportune time for either of us.  I don't think those lessons lasted more than a couple of weeks.

After "flute" or tonette in fourth grade, I was inspired to play clarinet in the Romeo South Grade School band.  Bianca and I both decided clarinet was the one for us...mostly because the case wasn't too big to carry back and forth...and I think Bianca already had a clarinet from her older sister.  I just copied her.  I enjoyed it a lot and never considered quitting.  It was a great experience all the way through...especially with Mr. Middleton (Bill), who was very strict and disciplined in Junior High School.  We learned very quickly how much fun it was to work toward excellence and what it felt like to achieve a I rating at the district and state competitions.  Mr E C Ojala was the the high school band director.  He was very nice, but older and less structured.  While we had a great experience, he did not demand as much from his students and there was a lot of horsing around, which Mr Middleton would not tolerate.  Band included concert band and marching band for football games and summer parades.  We got to travel to Traverse City each summer for the Cherry Festival.  It was a three day trip and we had a great time.  There are stories there for another time!  We also went to Band Day at U of M each year, played at the Michigan State Fair on Labor Day weekend and would march in several out of town parades each summer.  The band was paid to participate and it helped the band budget considerably.

Music was always part of our church experience, with Mom and Dad often in the choir.  We occasionally had a choir for the children, but nothing on a regular basis.   In Harbor Beach we had a large children's choir comprised of children from the Presbyterian Church and United Methodist Churches.  Diana Tanton and I had a group of 25-30 boys and girls and we would practice after school for an hour once a week, or more if there was a performance scheduled.  The kids loved to sing and we used a cassette tape with words to learn it and and with only music for the show.  I still have a notebook with the printed songs, which include "Only 4ft 11" (but I know I'm going to heaven and it makes me feel 10ft tall!), "He's Still Workin on Me" (to make me what I ought to be), "Arky, Arky" (The Lord told Noah there's gonna be a floody, floody), "Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego"....and dozens more.  I can remember some of them, but unfortunately no tunes.  I wonder if I still have a cassette tape somewhere.  It'd be fun to share them with my grandchildren.  I enjoy singing in church today.  We haven't had a regular weekly choir for years.

 Last year I finally decided to go to Community Choir for the Easter Cantata rehearsals.  Mom and Dad always sang in Community every community they lived in.  Several times they mentioned it when they lived in Harbor Beach, wondering if I'd like to.  Now, I know what I missed by not participating with them when I had the chance.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  Practice started right after the holiday and was held every Monday evening at the Lutheran Church.  Performances would be prior to Easter and would include singing at Forestville, Snover, Deckerville, Port Hope and Harbor Beach. It was a great experience that only lasted one year.  Warren Ramsey who directed the group forever, decided it was time to step down and no one picked up the reins.  I hope that maybe someone will in the future and I would sing once again!  I'm sure that Mom and Dad enjoyed me "finally" giving it a try!

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