Roger Chamberlain shared a letter in the To the people we love group 2 weeks ago
Beyond the Music
Dear Mr Kane, Mr Diceasre and Dr. Veneskey,
I met you all at different points of my life. You introduced me to music but so much more as well. From 4th grade to high school you all took turns inspiring me through the years. At times I was difficult, sometimes downright turbulent if I’m being honest. I fought through a lot of stuff that I only shared with each of you in moments where I couldn’t hide it anymore. It wasn’t that I was a bad kid, it was simply a lack of guidance that my parents weren’t able to see.
Growing up my family was of limited means. I chose to play a school owned instrument because I couldn’t afford a different instrument. I still couldn’t afford the mouthpiece for my Tuba. Mr. Kane you told me not to worry and a mouth piece appeared in the case of the Tuba I was assigned. I never forgot the mixed emotion of being thankful but also ashamed I couldn’t afford something like that. Throughout middle school you kept probing the places I hide in when the smile fades away. You made me feel seen while lost in the mix of the 400 students in our school. Mr. Dicesare, you expounded on that during our frequent talks about what was going on when I looked like the lights were on but noone was home. Dr. Veneskey you were also there, and I still hold one of my larger regrets to not have performed in the YSU marching band under your direction. You’ve been there behind the scenes even long after my school years ended. Plus I know you were a gear head like me behind the scenes. Our conversations were usually related to that.
It’s been 20 years now since I’ve been in a classroom you taught me important life lessons in. All 3 of you came into my life at a time where music was the only thing that really got me through. I know it frustrated others that I didn’t have to practice hardly if at all. You always were amazed and went out of your ways to build my confidence by forcing me to step into a spotlight I was hesitant to be in. While I no longer play an instrument, I found another one, my voice. I have taught myself to be a pretty good vocalist. That confidence you instilled in me still shows through everytime I tackle a really tough piece of music. I even starred in a musical that I never really told anyone about. I guess the secret is out now lol. Whether it was on the 50 yard line, a featured solo in honors band, or even a conversation about cars, you helped me make sense of the person I wanted to be. It’s by no way ironic that I enjoy mentoring people myself these days. I want to hand off the impact you all left with me onto the next person who might need a teacher or maybe just someone to talk cars with. As another person who recently left us said to his students, you really made me Love Music. Even if that G sharp in that Phillip Bliss song still haunts me I will always appreciate Music because of you.