Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Power of Legacy


I got copied on a wonderful email to Dr. Jordan from Heather Batey, a former Ole Miss Concert Singer and a woman that now sings with me in my church choir. It mentions you in a very nice way, and I asked to share a portion of it with you:

You are right when you said that there will never be another experience like Concert Singers for many of us. Most of us will hold those experiences in our hearts and memories as the pinnacle of our musical achievement. But the influence and spirit of Concert Singers lives on. I saw and heard it in Philip's choir when I heard them perform at the UAB Honor Choir concert. Watching Philip conduct, I saw your legacy in his conducting style. It was strange to watch him conducting from the back, for in my mind I saw your head on his shoulders, as many of the gestures were so undeniably yours. I think that is a tribute to you as the mentor and him as your protege.

Last night I sat by one of Philip's students in Lee Scott's rehearsal and the sound coming from the soprano section was one I think you would instantly recognize. I had several nice compliments from other fine musicians in the group about how wonderful the first sopranos sounded - comments like shimmering, heavenly, and ethereal. The sound was so well suited to the subject matter and the text of the piece.

Thank you, Doc, and Mrs. J., too - for all you both have taught me not only about music, but about life. When I share with people your influence on my life, that's what I tell them. You taught me to never settle for mediocrity, and to always be the best I can be.

. . .
A quote was mentioned in a previous Lee Scott Singers rehearsal - I can't remember who said it, but it is a wonderful idea. "Unison singing expresses the soul's deep longing for harmony."

I think that Concert Singers and our other wonderful musical experiences here on earth give us a longing for the harmonies of the heavenly choir we will all someday be a part of together. Some people never know what their purpose in life is or what it is they were created for. A few of us are so lucky - we know we were put on this earth to sing - and to share that vision of heaven with those on earth.

Here was my response to Heather:

That is easily one of the nicest things anyone has said about me . . . thanks so much.

I experienced the same thing when I was in Singers . . . it changed my life in a profound way and put me on the path that I am on (and will hopefully be on for the next 30 years).

I don't doubt that my gestures were originally Doc's . . . I'm not a conscious imitator anymore but I have no doubt that comparisons are easily made! I usually tell people this: anything good that I do I got from him . . . anything not-so-good is my own inadequacy.

If there is a "spirit of Concert Singers," I would be honored if that spirit sometimes traveled with me. It was the best part of my life and remains the chief focus of my life. You are very kind to draw the comparison and I deeply appreciate it.


mezzogregory said...

I have no doubt imagining that you are a fantastic protegé to the Jordan tradition. Musical are definitely a product of Doc's (very solid) upbringing!

Unfortunately, I will not be at the reunion. Bernstein Chichester Psalms...

Oh well. Hope you guys have a great time! Thank you so much for all the music. I'm around.


Howard Hall said...

hello, my name is Howard Jacob Hall and i attend HTHS. I LOVE UAB!!! I would love 2 hear the choir practice one day soon. I would be so happy if i went 2 uab.
if u dont remember me i am the black bass2. he! he! he!!!!
P.S. If u can would u stop by and say hello if u r not bussy.