I'm impressed with Mitch Miller.
I've outed several freshmen blogs over the past couple of years through the wonder of Google Blog Search or Technorati or some other search tool. Never have a been so impressed and so complemented with what I found when I got there.
My high school director, Dr. Carl Davis, is also an alumni of University of Mississippi, like Dr. Copeland (my college director), and they were both taught and mentored by Dr. Jordan, who I got the pleasure of meeting last Spring.
Isn't it amazing that, even though I've never been personally taught by or performed under Dr. Jordan's direction, that I can feel like I too was influenced by him?
Dr. Jordan changed my life.
He doesn't know me....He probably never will. He's only met me once and with only mere small talk... Yet he's taught me how to experience what choral music is all about. He's showed me a world I never knew.
How can it be that he has done all this and doesn't even know my name?
Through teaching. He has passed on his passion and knowledge of music to his students which in return they have passed on to me.
Dr. Davis discovered me when I was just a simple Band Geek trying his best to sing the lead in a school musical (very horribly I might add - I had not developed any formal concept of falsetto or chest voice, the switch between the two I was not aware I could manipulate).
He discovered me and planted a seed in me. A seed that changed my life.
Changed the way I viewed music....and my future.
He goes on to leave me with a challenge to develop him to his full potential.
Let me tell you this . . . that is almost a curse, and I mean that in the nicest way. I start every rehearsal knowing that I have a very short time to make something better than it is; I feel a huge burden to do my absolute best that day. Mitch is right, I've been taught by the best. I know that I've got to do the best job I can to meet my potential . . . and help Mitch reach his.
Choir, know this: when I snap you back in line (like I did yesterday) it is to help us be the kind of choir that will give you a noble pride for the rest of your life. That's what was done for me twenty years ago and what I am passionate about doing for you.
Thanks, Mitch, for one hell of a first post. Thanks also for associating me with two professionals I greatly admire, Dr. Jordan and Dr. Davis.