Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fred Schimmelman, a Wonderful Man of Song

Forgive me but I'm learning: as one gets older, so too does everyone else. And when that happens, we all eventually reach the end of our mortal coils. Recently, a friend - a teacher - passed away. For a moment, I'd like to remember him.

To Fred Schimmelman, Teacher and Friend:
He's gone. Those sensitive fingers that directed our song. Those smoky eyes that could glisten with amusement or fire into annoyance in the brief space of a quarter note. He's gone. His passion that fueled our own, the young kids that we were at Rolling Meadows High School. Teaching us to harmonize as we could. Presenting us with curiosities. "What's a Jabberwocky?" we asked and then found out in four / four time. "Twas Brillig" for sure.

He's gone. The director, the musician, the teacher, the man. His music dispersed into so many young hearts.... but then perhaps?...
...Gone he is not. For his love of music remains within many of us. Like the last I heard from him, only a few weeks ago. The 'old man' still young at heart, writing: "... glad you're still singing. It's a boon to living." And so it is.
Gone therefore he really isn't. The memories that he made, the kids that he taught, the inspiration and confidence that he gave to us all. He was a gift, and gifts don't die. They Live! Nor do the notes of his song that float even now Heavenward.
Godspeed, Fred Schimmelman. And thank you for the gifts that you gave so freely of yourself.
In honor of Fred, a song that he taught us all in 1973. Sung, of course, not by us. But it's the memory, the memory...
The Lord to Me a Shepherd Is sung by Vox Harmonia
(Photo: Fred in full flight, circa 1973, Choir Room, Rolling Meadows High School.)

1 comment:

  1. We forget many things over the years, but never our most beloved teachers. This was a lovely tribute, Tom.