We mourn and celebrate

TC writes:  “A major point of pride for the School of Music and Texas State is the legacy of John Stansberry. Outstanding musician and teacher, Maestro Stansberry for many years directed our bands and was instrumental in establishing the Texas State Symphony Orchestra. Countless students and colleagues consider ourselves blessed to have had the opportunity to work with him, make fine music with him, and know him as a wonderful human being. We celebrate and cherish the joy and inspiration he has given us.

John passed peacefully this morning, February 17, after many years of decline from Alzheimer’s. His spirit is flying free!

The last time I had the privilege of being with John was a few years ago, when our Wind Ensemble, which he used to direct, gave an invited performance for TMEA in the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio. John was proud of what we were carrying on of his legacy.

It turns out that five days before he died, that same top ensemble, now under the direction of Caroline Beatty, gave a spectacular concert once again for TMEA in Lila Cockrell. (See ‘Wind Symphony tours, triumphs at TMEA‘.) Again John would have been extremely proud.

And now this evening, I just heard a wonderful concert showcasing more than 100 children in our String Project, Hill Country Youth Chorale, and guests from the local Boys and Girls Clubs, playing and singing what they have learned so far this year. They are not quite ready for Carnegie Hall, but proud and full of enthusiasm for making music.

My heart swelled with love for children and love of music at all levels. And consummate music educator John Stansberry was there with us too in spirit. We are all part of a great, unending musical river of beauty and joy.