Dean’s Message February 2024

Sometimes sage words bring a comforting perspective. Consider this recollection from my friend, an organist and retired piano teacher:

I once had a studio of bright, talented kids, enthusiastic adults, and a struggling few who failed to show any musical proficiency. I remember a girl of eleven years, gawky and large for her age, withdrawn and frequently apologetic, who was, frankly, bereft of any signs of musical aptitude. I couldn’t make headway with the poor girl and found myself hoping that she would become frustrated and quit. She never did. Week after week, we plodded through the same material, and I began to dread her lesson days.

Years later, I ran into her mother at a grocery store. After thanking me profusely, she told me that her daughter had come into her own, was headed to college on scholarship, and still enjoyed playing piano every day! It was the lessons, she told me, that helped her daughter grow in self-esteem, and feel some sense of accomplishment during that awkward period in her life. I was both shocked and humbled. Though a professional musician that young girl would never be, music lessons sustained her through a critical time, and allowed her to blossom. As they say, one never knows!”

Music educators and church musicians alike are sure to encounter the mystery of unknowing. What to make of the perennial, underachieving student, or the impassive though faithful choir member? How reassuring it is to realize that our presence matters, even when not apparent to us at the time. Thanks, my friend, for sharing!

Looking ahead, we are excited about our next chapter field trip to attend “Hallock at 100” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, on February 24 and 25. A few of us will be at the Sunday afternoon performance, and I highly encourage you to attend whichever date works best for you. Peter Hallock was such a huge influence in the Seattle area and well beyond. His legacy literally sings on!

Also, remember that there is no chapter meeting in March, giving us all a break during the hectic season of Lent through Easter. Instead, look forward to events in April and beyond.



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