the news has affected me more
than I would have thought.
He was demanding.
He yelled more than he should have.
He pulled his hair out.
He pushed us hard --
sometimes to the breaking point (his and ours).
But I guess he was the only teacher
I had in high school for all four years
plus hours and weekends on the football field.
My high school band director died this week.
In recent years,
I have reflected on my band experience.
We were a diverse group
of varied races and cultures,
with wide-ranging interests (metalheads to athletes to geeks),
from varying economic backgrounds
who all happened to live in a small city in South Carolina
and all were interested in music.
We made beautiful music.
hard music -- equal to most college music programs.
We were guest directed by contemporary composers and
the director of "The President's Own" United States Marine Band.
I was sad to learn of my band director's death.
That news came the same day
as the news of the death of another influential musician.
She had been organist and choir director
of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC.
But she was more than that.
She would welcome new people,
help them discern their gifts,
and then connect them to ministries.
for many of your children,
music is a powerful expression and experience of faith.
We are grateful for the musicians you have put into our lives.
I am reminded of what St. Augustine wrote:
"'Those who sing pray twice."