Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gordon Bowie Memorial Service - Program and Comments

Musings on Gordon’s Remembrance Service - Marlin Strand - 14 January 2012

A gathering of loved friends and family;
Every chair filled and eyes a brimming
with tears of sadness and yet joy unbound
as we bid our dear Director adieu.

How touching was Gavin Bowie’s words
The life lived as the son of one
with amazing interests and broad understanding ;
with an educator’s head and a heart of truth;
surrounded by music;
with the stillness of water and boats and friends,
and family and players and instruments and………

But the gotcha that grabbed my heart and head
Happened as Gavin summed up his Dad’s
Approach to this time we call life – indeed -

Gordon’s addictive sense of wonder, exploration, discovery, and passion
All of us wanted to be with him along that voyage
And luckily, we were able to as a group of bandspeople in Montgomery Village.

And his piece, Topgallant, played so expertly by the Legacy Brass:
a joyous maritime procession on the water of a special craft,
with the first solo speak by the voice of the trombone of course, Gordon’s.
And then the well woven happy melody, made interesting
With minor/major inversions and then the challenge of the sea
in the mid- passage of turbulence and trepidation,
and then the safe harbor return, a conquering trip back to port,
but conquered not was the sea,
only a little of the mystery and beauty of water and music mixed.

And our leader spoke with eloquence and that oh-so needed humor.
Recalling the Bard on the Bandstand and his guides and teaching
and his well spoken passion for honoring the music at hand,
and how best to accomplish it.
And it found fertile ground on all of our lips,
and in a way the wind from our instruments became a common breath

With an uncommon Director
– the Doctor of Band
– The Doctor of RB Hall
– the Doctor of composers, endless
- The Doctor of encouragement for our grove of composers
- The Doctor that fixed us …………….
by giving us our needed fix of excellence in making music together;
for him, and for each other, and for the listeners, and for Music itself.

And then a fitting poem for our memory and for the promise of music yet to come
With Gordon and his antecedents and those he touched and those yet to be touched:

The Last Voyage
By Lizzie Clark Hardy

Some time at eve when tide is low,
I shall slip my moorings and sail away.

With no response to the friendly hail
Of kindred craft in the busy bay.
In the silent hush of the twilight pale.
When the night troops down to embrace the day.
And the voices call, and in the waters flow.
Some time at even when the tide is low.
I slip my moorings and sail away.

Through the purple shadows that darkly trail
O'er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea.
I shall fare me away, with a dip of a sail
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay
The crafts of those who have sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy Bay:
Some friendly barks that were anchored near.
Some loving soul that my heart held dear.
In silent sorrow will drop a tear.
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In moorings sheltered from storm and gale
And greeted the friends who sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.

We are a fortunate lot.
We were blessed by his life, that Band Mainer.
So let the Band Play on !
And know that Gordon, our kindred spirit, continues to be present in each downbeat,
but particularly in those moments of silence in the music yet to come.