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I used to play the cello. Used to love it. When I decided to practice, I used to be pretty good. First-place-at-solo-contests kind of good. But in being good, I was also too good for the cello. Too cool, too concerned about my big school and my big reputation. I dropped the cello, like a fool, even though I had other honorable motives like how I was smitten with the bass player in the orchestra who had orange hair when we played our Christmas concert. He was a senior and got to crack the whip during Sleigh Ride. Still, even with my smitten-self, I quit playing the cello for things I imagined to be bigger and better.

Before the foolishness, while I still pulled that horsehair bow across the out-of-tune strings, I had this orchestra director, Mr. Dorner, who I didn’t appreciate the way I should have when I had him around. He was a calm, funny man with a wonderful sense of structure in the classroom and a deep love for music. These things were all white noise to me in grade and middle school.  Silly girl.

Mr. Finn, the band teacher here at school, my school now, my job, is a little bit like Mr. Dorner. He’s calm and composed. The things he says surprise you with their humor.

I hope these kids, amidst their giggles during choir concerts, and their flat notes in band, can appreciate the leadership of Mr. Finn. I forgot to appreciate the same in Mr. Dorner.

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