Sunday, March 14, 2010


I usually pause this time of year to try to remember all those we have lost. We seem to lose so many in the Spring. Many of these friends and students were lost before they could be googled and in many ways disappear into history. So I thought I would take a moment to write their names into the google universe.

Joe Borello played bass in Newtown High School's Jazz Ensemble with me. He died in a car accident when he was in high school.

Rick Treffinger played trombone in the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble when I was a freshman. I learned a whole lot from him about music and how to be real cool. Oberlin seniors were really cool back then. He died in 1990 trying to repair damage from Hurricane Hugo.

Shedrick Lewis played alto saxophone in my band in Jackson, Louisiana. He was one of the happiest kids I ever taught. He died in a car accident in 1993.

Fred Underwood died that same Spring. He was tackled at practice when the kids were playing touch football. Later he died when bone fragments entered his bloodstream.

Melissa Rodriquez played flute in the band my first year at Newtown. She died in an accident while traveling out west. She had a head of fire-red hair.

When we play music I believe we honor those that came before us. When we nail a performance the composer and all that influenced him remain alive, if just for a moment. I try before each concert to say these names aloud. Gone too soon, all of them.