October 9, 2012

Still Moving the Piano...

When I think back to my High School days, I recall how much I really enjoyed studying music. Pretty much everything else about those days has become somewhat of a blur, but I can still vividly remember taking classes like Guitar, Electronic Music, and AP Music. Our school was very fortunate to have had a 4-track recording studio on the premises and I spent a lot of time writing compositions. My teacher through all of those years was one Walter Schneider.

Schneider was always a funny man. He would start talking gibberish in the middle of class just to get the attention of the students and, on a few occasions, he was prompted to do a headstand. There was one time, Schneider had to step out of the room for a few minutes; the moment he was gone, someone yelled, "Move the piano!" He returned a while later, wondering where his piano had gone. It wasn't until he looked out of the classroom window that he could see the piano sitting in the middle of the parking lot.

In was through Mr. Schneider that I got most of my classical music appreciation. On a few of his class trips to Lincoln Center, I got to see Wagner's "Parsifal," Puccini's "La Boheme," and Bizet's "Carmen." I can still remember the rides on the subway and smell of the carpeting at the Metropolitan Opera House. Suddenly, the opera was more than just sheet music that we read from a score. It became an indispensable experience.

On Sunday, September 30, the Long Island Composers Alliance honored Walter Schneider at Northport Public Library by putting on a program of his chamber and piano music. I hadn't seen Mr. Schneider since High School, so I was very excited to go to this event and see my old teacher again. The moment I stepped into the Community Room, I saw him sitting in the back. He hadn't changed much and he looked in good spirits. I looked over to him several times as the concert went on and I could still see the love of his craft written on his face. After the show, I approached him to offer thanks and congratulations. It was so great to see him again. I really enjoyed his music too.

As I was leaving the performance, I stopped off in the library's gallery hall. The paintings hanging there were all signed "Webster." I don't know who Webster is, but I did appreciate the artwork. Very nice outdoor scenes. Cheers!

"And whatsoever ye do,
do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward
of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."

~Colossians 3:23-24