The End of an Era

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yesterday my church voted to call a new music director. She graduated from one of the denomination's colleges with a degree in church music, so I'm sure she'll do fine. But it won't be easy.

It never is when you follow a legend.

When I became a member of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church 33 years ago, David Brandt was already well-established as the head of its music program and director of the Senior Choir. In 1954, right out of college, he was hired by the church's day school as a second-grade teacher, and it didn't take him long to organize a children's choir. I don't know when he took over the Senior (adult) Choir, but this picture was taken sometime around 1966. Dave is in the back row on the right, wearing a suit and tie instead of a choir robe. He never did wear a robe that I can recall.

I joined the Senior Choir as soon as I married and joined the church, and I have sung in the choir for most of those 33 years (taking a short hiatus while I was working on an advanced degree). So Dave has been a significant part of my life. He has also been a significant part of my husband and children's lives, all of whom had him as a teacher during their elementary or middle school years and sang in the Children's Choir under his direction.

David Brandt isn't retiring as a teacher yet and will continue to be a force at the church and school. And he deserves to actually sit in the congregation and go up to communion with his wife and children and grandchildren. Still, when he announced to the choir that he would be stepping down as director, we were all in shock. We still are.

Thank you, Dave, for your many years of dedicated service to St. Paul's music program.

It won't be the same without you.

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