My singing career began and ended in the mid 1970’s. I was a tiny soul in a sea of other middle-schooler’s singing our hearts out under the expert and devoted direction of Mr. Marc Johnson. He had an interesting and creative idea to record us at the end of the year, and turn our finished sounds and polished voices into albums. He was committed to capturing our harmony and hard work. It was pretty cool to be on an album in the ‘70’s, even if it wasn’t going platinum.
As the school years turned from 1975 to 1976, and 1976 into 1977, we found ourselves in the company of some local recording gurus that Mr. Johnson knew who had all kinds of shiny equipment. They promised to capture our no-nonsense, perfectly pitched chorus and turn it into black vinyl keepsakes. And that’s exactly what happened.
Last year, I caught up with Mr. Johnson after resurrecting my chorus albums from a suitcase in the garage and asked if he knew how I could transfer them on to CD’s. I had visions of rekindling my singing career in my car to the songs we so loved back in middle school. Mr. Johnson offered to make the transfer himself because as a music teacher and musician, he has the equipment.
I received a call from my favorite chorus teacher last night letting me know that the CD’s had been created. We made a plan for me to pick them up at his house today. So, after 37 years, I got to see this amazing man again, and on this, our Christmas Eve. I did my best to express what he meant to so many of us all of those years ago. And I know that he understood our awkwardness and silly sly ways.
“Hope for the Future” was the name of our second album and the name of one of the songs we sang so superbly that year. It’s a powerful song, and we nailed it. I can still remember the twinkle in Mr. Johnson’s eye and that little smile that conveyed how proud he was of us when we performed at our end-of-the-year concerts.
Just saying “Thanks” to Mr. Johnson doesn’t seem like enough of a response all these years later to this gem of a teacher. So in addition to “Thanks” I promise to sing every note to every song in my car —-with the sun roof open of course.
I really can’t sing, but that won’t stop me.