Drummer Boy

Drummer Boy

 

The young man pictured above is named Chase Tonar, and he is someone I have known for many years because he has grown up at Holy Communion.  It seems like only yesterday that he was an exceptionally gifted boy soprano who absolutely loved to sing and was fearless about it – and now he is a rich-voiced baritone auditioning for a music scholarship at Carthage.   His audition was this past Saturday and I found my buttons bursting,  so proud was I of his fine singing and also of the superb way in which he presented himself . . .  so polite (even shaking hands with all of the faculty present to hear him) . . . so articulate . . .    And I don’t mean to imply that I deserve much of the credit for how well he did.   Chase has been a voice student of mine in the past,  but over the last couple of years he has basically studied with his high school choral director – and as for the politeness, that is the way he has been for as long as I can remember,  and I assume that his parents deserve the credit for that.  Still,  I know that at least in some peripheral way I have made a difference for the better in his musical exploits,  so I was smiling both inwardly and outwardly as Chase made such a fine impression on all of us.   Actually, Chase is more than a singer-  he is also a crackerjack percussionist, and from the sounds of it he especially nailed his instrumental audition.   But this isn’t about that as much as it is about the way in which time flies when you are having fun-  and for sure I have had such fun working with young musicians like Chase.   And I count it as a rare and precious privilege that I have been able to see him grow up into such a mature and assured musician . . .  bringing back memories along the way of another young man I helped nurture over the years at Holy Communion,  Nick Barootian.   There is not much that is sweeter than to coach a young boy soprano for their first solo in church – and then ten years later coach them as they audition for a college scholarship.  First Nick – now Chase – and it renews my sense of indebtedness and gratitude that I get to do what I do.   And what a relief it is that when one young musician moves on to other mountaintops,  there is someone new coming up for whom I can try to make a difference.