As I sit in a car watching the DMA Staff work with small groups of the total enrollment here at our EKU location, one current student caught my eye. Just watching this young woman work to learn the material, jump up as a volunteer, and make adjustments to her conducting form floods my mind with so very many memories.
I recall the first time a student came up to George Parks and said, “My band director came here as a student.” And then there was the first time a student said to George, “My father came to DMA.” Both times I made a snarky comment to George that most like included a jab about him getting old. Each time, without missing a beat, he would say, “Oh Heidi, just wait until they say it to you!” And of course, after only a few years he was right. First there was the student whose band director was in my company. Then there were the many parents I had taught. And this year a moment I never saw coming: the new bassoon professor at UD was in my company and TV rooms at our Lafayette College location in 1996. Yup–I taught a colleague!
Today though, I watch a young woman devouring the material but I see a little girl. I remember the first time I met her father. I remember the first time she held her parent’s hands as she walked with them watching the workshop unfold. I remember helping her and four other youngsters carry the banner in front of an honor band during the Tournament of Roses Parade. And now I watch her finding her way as she begins her journey as a Drum Major.
While I know she’s all grown up, I join her parents in always thinking of her like this–Scott and Kris, she’s making all of us, including George, very proud!