Thursday, December 07, 2006

A teacher's legacy

I ran into Mr. Reimer, my high school choir teacher while on my way to the Nebraska-Colorado game a couple of weeks ago. He's still teaching, though it's at a different school now. He "retired" from the high school he had taught at for the past 29 years just this last May, and his son put together a big surprise party for him, inviting all the alumni he could find. There was at least one person there representing each class from 1977 through 2006. And, with only an hour beforehand to practice, we had a mass alumni choir sing 3 songs a la Mr. Holland's Opus, with our beloved teacher directing. I've got a clip from our rendition of Bridge Over Troubled Water below.

Part of my job description now is church music director, and as part of that I'm responsible for directing the church choir. Other than my high school choirs, I have absolutely no formal vocal or choral training whatsoever, so whatever I do have I owe to Mr. Reimer. I found myself slipping in a "Reimer-ism" during choir rehearsal last night. The choir was practicing "Still, Still, Still" for the Christmas Eve service. The men and the altos keep time with half notes for most of the arrangement, with the sopranos having the only real moving part in the song. We were short on sopranos last night, and they were being overpowered by the others, so I stopped them and said, "okay...sopranos? You're Gladys. The rest of you? You're all Pips. All you Pips out there, when you're singing, think to yourself, 'can the congregation hear Gladys?' And Gladys? You're the one everyone came out to hear, so let 'em have it!"

Anyone reading this who was never in one of Mr. Reimer's choirs right now is thinking "well okay, that's nice." I can guarantee you though, that if you're reading this and ever had Mr. Reimer as a teacher, you've got a big ol' goofy grin plastered on your face.

Here's the clip from Bridge Over Troubled Water from back in May (sorry, our camera didn't have enough memory to get the whole thing). If I say so myself, not bad for a bunch of amateurs who were doing some glorified sight-singing...please excuse the audience members who started clapping woefully out of time:


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah yes. :)