Q & A Submitted by Susan DeegeWhere were you a music educator? For how long?
I began teaching in Clinton, Mo in 1980 where I taught for four years, we then moved back to Hannibal to work in the family business. I assisted with the Hannibal High marching band for several years. I was then out of teaching for almost ten years when I got invited back to Hannibal Schools to replace a retiring band director. I stayed in the band department until 2006 when I transitioned to the Guidance Department where I retired in 2017. I conducted the pit orchestra for the HHS musicals from 1990 - 2016, and continue to conduct shows for QCT and HLGU
What are your favorite instruments to play? How long have you played bass? How long have you been in the QCB?
I have to admit my favorite instrument is timpani, followed by all the other percussion instruments, then just...everything else.
I acquired a bass in the 1980's and played it on and off for many years until our group began playing in the summer in front of Becky's. From there I started playing for Muddy River Opera and when Jane Polett saw me playing asked if I would join the Quincy Symphony. I have played with the QCB for ten or so years, playing several different instruments until I asked Trent if he wanted a bass player. His reply was a resounding Yes, so I've been on it for several years.
Tell me about your small business and what attracted you to be involved in it?
We own and operate Becky's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Emporium in the Historic District of Hannibal, Mo. We have been in the area since 1984 when we took ownership from Sara's parents. As Sara likes to say, "No weekends off since 1984."
Explain how you support musicians by giving them opportunities through your business in Hannibal? (You have folks play there, correct?
There are the Not Ever Ready for Prime Time Players; a small group of volunteers who gather in front of Becky's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Emporium Monday nights during the summer and play parlor music of the early 1900's. It is purely for our enjoyment. We also support the Salvation Army when they need a brass ensemble to perform for some function in the Hannibal area.
What groups do you play with yourself?
Besides the Quincy Concert Band, I play with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Muddy River Opera, Salvation Army ensembles around the area, Quincy Community Theater, Hannibal LaGrange University String Orchestra, Hannibal High School Musical, Hannibal LaGrange University Musical Theater Department, Quincy Clarinet ensemble, Mark Twain Chorale, Hannibal LaGrange University Symphonic Band, and other small ensembles as needed.
What is your most memorable experience as a musician?
When I talk to young musicians I recall a master class/co-rehearsal with the St Louis Symphony while I was in college. I learned so much in those two hours about musicianship and technique and it wasn't until years later that I realized that it was that experience that solidified my decision to become an educator.
What advice would you give an adult who has not played his or her instrument for a while?
It's never too late to get your old instrument out, dust it off and start playing again. We have encouraged several friends, neighbors and former students to start playing again and everyone is glad they did.