Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Memorable People

Do you have a song which reminds you of a particular person or event? Sure, we all do. But how many of you have a song which reminds you of a teacher? I’m not talking about Beethoven’s 5th reminding you of a conductor you worked with in the past. I’m talking about a song you’d hear on the Top 40 radio or an “oldies” station.

The song “Break on Through to the Other Side” by the Doors always reminds me of my conducting instructor at UNCG, David Kish. He was a graduate conducting student and a really cool teacher. I remember there was something funny about his syllabus… It was along the lines of this: He told us to read the syllabus for homework and there was a line in it that said “At the next class meeting go to your seat, and just sit there and smile.” I don’t recall exactly what it said because I was one of the students who didn’t read it. *smiles innocently* What I do remember is sitting there being confused because some people were smiling and exchanging knowing glances and the rest of us were thinking “Um… What’s going on?”

But back to the topic of the post. The song reminds me of David—I think he let us call him David. It seems like ages ago! Anyway, the song reminds me of him because he was always encouraging us to break out of our shells and be bolder with our conducting. Every time he made that request of someone on the podium, he’d start singing the refrain (if you can call what Jim Morrison does in that song singing).

Wow. I just Googled him and found out that he now has his doctorate. I think I’m officially no longer on a first-name basis with him (if I ever was in the first place, haha)! He’s currently Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at The Metropolitan State College of Denver. Congratulations, Dr. Kish--keep on breakin’ through!

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