Ask any teacher who's been in the profession for a few years or more, and I'll bet they can tell you stories about events, occasions and most importantly, kids who made a lasting impression in their lives. Now, through the magic of social networking, I can have simultaneous conversations with students who are in my TTU classes & the WTCC this semester, right along with those who go a little (and a lot) further back. In fact, I'm going to have to use the term "kids" loosely, since some of them turned that corner a while ago. ("Let's see, if you were eleven in 1979 . . . ")
It's been amazing to hear from Edwin, who tells me that "the musical bug you planted twenty six years ago (thanks, Ed!) finally bit." Edwin's restoring the old Kessler Theater (once owned by Gene Autry!) into a venue for musical performances and community arts education in Oak Cliff. And from Adina, who would like to have a copy a "Hitch Your Dream to the Morning Star," because she's never forgotten singing it in the sixth grade. Or Clint, who promised (in about 5th grade) to grow up and buy better chairs for the choir room one day. (Grown-up Clint hosted that grand party for the WTCC at his beautiful Vino 100 in Dallas last year.) And Greg, who's taking a quick break from singing opera professionally in Germany to sing :The Messiah" in Santa Fe this November.
And most recently, Natalie and Ashley, the adorable twins who, in kindergarten, used to play "music class" and pretend to be the teacher (who just happened to be Mrs. Fleming!) I had a chance to visit the girls in person this weekend, and they are grown-up, successful career professionals now. But we had a great time remembering quite a few shared musical experiences!
It seems that every day, another former student turns up on FB to say hello. It's a humbling reminder of how quickly time passes, and of the amazing power of music to create life-long memories. I'm looking forward to hearing from our WTCC kids down the road . . . I wonder if they'll remember the music from Carnegie Hall, or the boys wearing antlers in their cowboy hats? We'll see.