Goodbye Teacher

This weekend I had to say goodbye to the best vocal teacher I have ever had. I’m not a music major, hell I can’t even read music. But, I love to sing and when I know a song well, I can sing it beautifully. This weekend we put to rest my college choral instructor, Dr. Curtis Springer. Doc was my 6th and (so far) last choral instructor I have had.

When I heard docs choir I knew I wanted in. They sounded so amazing. Their voices would vibrate down the hall of the music building and rattle the Steele locks that hung from the metal lockers. His choir was one made up of people who desired to be musical professionals. They were made up of 80% music majors and the rest a spattering of talented people who just wanted to sing.

When I tried out for Doc I was so nervous. I had no idea what to expect. He had me sing all the chords and then look at a page of notes with no words and hum the song. That is where I bombed miserably. When we were done he looked at me and said, “that was supposed to be Happy Birthday and you didn’t even come close. I love your voice; but, I wonder if you can keep up?” With that he decided to let me into his magnificent choir on a probationary bases. On the terms that I had to sing a solo for him in front of all of the singers in a few weeks, to see if I could keep up. Being slightly insane, I gladly took the deal.

I worked my ass off for Doc. I practiced like crazy. I even let some of my classes like Biology or philosophy fall by the waste side to make sure I was perfect. When It was time for me to do my final try out in front of the class I felt like puking. I could feel their judgement on me. I sang about 35 bars from a Latin song in my first alto voice and when I was done doc walked up to me, stood right in front of me, looked me in the eyes and said, “good job”. It was probably the best day of my life (at least at that 19 year old point), and one of the only compliments he ever gave me. I can’t tell you how many times that man flared up my sensitive tummy issues.

I sang for Doc for two entire years. I sang nestled in between a swarm of opera singers and I loved every minute of it. Maybe it was his bald head that turned bright red when he was mad? Maybe it was because he threw Pencils at us when we screwed up really bad, I don’t know. All I know is he brought out the best singer in me and in all of us. I would get chills listening to us preform. He was the best choral teacher I have ever had and I consider myself lucky being a part of one of his ensembles.

His death came as very sad but unsurprising news. He had been teaching voice since the 70’s and he’d worked with me in the mid 90’s. When they called on his old singers to join in a choral performance at his funeral, I didn’t have a second thought. I knew I would struggle to keep up with the others who could perform at a drop of a hat, but I loved this man for what he did for me and as usual was willing to put my tummy through certain trials, to bring him joy, even in heaven.

There was probably about 70 people who showed up to sing. (Honestly I expected 100’s). The oldest singer was in a wheel chair and looked to be in his 80’s and the youngest (who was a daughter of another one of his students) was 14. We showed up 1 hour before the funeral and quickly went over 52 pages of music. I will admit I was a bit all over the place on the notes in some parts. But I was proud of myself for knowing when to at least sing and not to sing.

Even though doc was not there physically. And some of his old students were instructing us, I feel we did an amazing job especially considering the amount of music we had to learn and in such a short time frame. It was worth it to stress myself out one last time for him. And I hope he heard us where he is now and that he was smiling. Because we gave me chills again singing for his funeral. and I gotta hope that was him approving.

God speed Doc. Thank you so much for everything.

Dr Springer Memorial

Dr Springer Memorial

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Coloring Project – The Frog


2010 Summer Reading List

Sookie Stackhouse, the complete stories A touch of Dead
Finger Prints & Facelifts
His First Wife, Gracce Octavia
The promise of happiness, Justin Cratwright
Silk & Shadows
The Honey Thief
The marriage
Ya ya Sisterhood book # 3
The Other Boleyn Girl
Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher
3 book flower series by Nora Roberts
The Kept woman
Twlight book # 4
twlight book #3

Coloring Project – The Swan