As we close out another school year, I am writing lists of people to thank. Predominantly the list includes teachers who have helped my children stretch academically and socially. I encourage my kids to write a few words of gratitude as well.
I realize now that I didn’t partake in this ritual when I was a student myself. Therefore, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to express appreciation to all of my former music teachers who helped shape the person that I am.
To my elementary, junior high, and high school music teachers from the Cold Spring Harbor (New York) school district: Thank you for the opportunity to be involved in performing groups as young as third grade. Today, I see students starting ensembles at a later age and needing to choose among band, strings, or choir. I appreciate the ability to participate in all three disciplines. Thank you also for encouraging me to play solos and in small groups. Because of this ability to be in the spotlight, I never felt stage fright for performing—or for future business presentations.
To my college band director, Dr. Stephen G. Peterson, who conducted the Northwestern University Marching Band until 1998 and now serves as director of bands at the University of Illinois: Your enthusiasm for the marching arts was infectious. I appreciate your support as I learned this art for the first time. Thank you for instilling us with “Pride and Guts” and for always encouraging us to help one another.
Last but not least, to my private flute teacher Dale Kleps: Thank you for inspiring me musically as well as personally. Your mentorship and friendship saw me through my childhood and teenage years and mean more to me than you’ll ever know. I also enjoyed hearing your stories about performing on Broadway and recording songs in the studio. Your accounts gave me a great glimpse into the life of a professional musician.
All of your words of wisdom continue to influence my career as publisher and editor of Halftime Magazine. Thanks again!
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief