I just got back from my second graduation in four days, so it seemed like a good time to post a short tribute to the class of 2007. All told, I had eight private students and my Webmaster graduate this year, and six of them are going to be studying music in college, either as majors or as half of a double major. (Having five of them do that in the same year might well be a personal record.)
So my hat's off to them first: Aaron (my protege, bandmate and li'l bro; you've done more in three years than anyone before you), Mark (another one of my "main cats" and another true success story), Carl (a veteran of all seven years with me; I'm glad that you decided to follow your passion), Jason (the future swingin' chef) and Brady (glad we got to work together again this year even if I couldn't make it to the school anymore) along with Nate, the aforementioned Webmaster and a gifted composer (he figured out the "007" connection and wrote original music for his graduation that interspersed James Bond themes throughout the piece). All of them are headed to my alma mater either right away or after a year or two with me at the community college. I'm really looking forward to my continued association with all of you.
And I also wish all the best to John and David and Lawrence; the latter two were also seven-year vets with me. Even though music will not be your vocation (though I know at least one of you will definitely play in a college band), I hope you keep it close to your heart (and, as I've found out at the college, you can always come back and play again later in life).
When I used to work at a music store on weekends, I ran into an older private instructor who said, in an almost bitter tone, that the worst thing about his job was cultivating all those students for all that time and then having them graduate and never hearing from them again. Maybe it's the Internet, or maybe I'm just doing something right, but I've always been happy with how many people I've at least kept in touch with over the years, and sometimes enduring friendships have been formed by graduation time.
The world of music is really small, so one can never have too many friends in the business (one of the benefits of that is, among other things, that there's always someone to jam with). And it's even more rewarding to perform professionally with those whom I used to teach, and to see them become teachers as well. I'm really proud of all these fine young people, and it'll be great to see what kind of an impact they'll make in the years ahead.