Saturday, July 07, 2012

False Start-or Actually Happening?

I have mentioned before my beloved high school Choir director, S. Talbot Thayer. The easiest way to explain Mr. Thayer is if you've ever seen the movie 'Mr. Holland's Opus', picture that passion for teaching kids music of the choral variety, and you have Mr. Thayer. (Or Tal, as we'd call him behind his back when we were in school and even now, almost 30 years later, it feels strange to use his first name!)

Anyway, back in December, several alumni of the Choirs started a group on Facebook and added members, and the conversation got around to having a reunion of his students. Ideas were bounced around, a few of our former presidents tried to work on organizing things, but it was a case of busy people trying to squeeze more into their lives, as well as a few people saying what kind of event it should be.

Frankly, any event where I could again see the teacher I easily consider my favorite and perhaps sing some songs under his leadership would make me happy. I'd prefer a mix and mingle, then sing type thing, but others were looking for a concert-type event, with a weekend full of practices. This isn't really feasible for people who might fly from across the country or even an ocean. Interest fizzled.

I had several conversations with one of the people expected to organize it. If one thing came out of that failed attempt, I was happy that we'd reconnected. We talked about people spouting ideas, several who also lived on Long Island, but expected others to do the work. (I felt bad that living in Florida severely limited my ability to help.)

Periodically, people would check into the group, post on the wall and ask what was happening with the event.

The other day, an alum visited Mr. Thayer and the two men reminisced for a while, with the alum telling him about the group and how much love we had for our time in Choir. We learned discipline, we learned how to perform music that some would say was too difficult for high school students and we learned that there was nothing better than the rush of performing something when it was as close to perfection as possible when you were standing on those risers.

Interest has been revived in getting together, with a local guy taking the reins this time and less rehearsal intense plans were suggested. Ideas are bounced around, and dates as soon as two weeks from now were tossed into the mix. Those from far away spoke up-they want to attend, but they need more time to coordinate. Summer has been booked solid for others.

At least now, its not a weekend full of practices and a performance for the public, the goal is some sort of hall, even pizzas and sodas and mixing, mingling, and then singing a bunch of the old songs. Something that I might even be able to squeeze into a busy calendar, even.

I really want this event to happen, to see Mr. Thayer's goofy grin when we all enunciate that 'T' in 'Christ' perfectly in 'When Rooks Fly Homeward'. It'll be nice to catch up with other alums, though I'm really in contact with the people from my era that matter to me. The goal is to have a nice evening, honoring a man who imparted his love of music on 28 years of high school students.

So, I'm really hoping this time, the event actually happens.

(not my year, but yes, this is a group of high school students!)

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