John Trepp, Memory Eternal.

My high school choir teacher died two nights ago. I am a music teacher because of him. Don't get me wrong, my parents are my biggest and best influences, but aside from them, John Trepp made me who I am today. He was the first person outside my family to give me serious discipline, expect serious commitment and kick my ass when I needed it. It was because of him that I immediately loved orthodoxy. I loved the monks at Gibsons because I had tasted the discipline that they lived when I was in choir. I loved the no BS attitude of Fr. Lawrence because I first had it in my high school choir. This man was an agent of God, and had a faith and an ability to draw us in to his desire for excellence that I have encountered rarely. He wasn't the best technically that I have worked with, but his emotional engagement was so high that we wanted nothing more than to be excellent, to serve the music. Tomas Luis De Victoria and Palestrina are alive inside me because of him. Bach's little Organ Fugue BWV 578 is constantly with me, not only because of him, but partly. That's actually a good story.

As a young boy, my dad would play Jacques Loussier's Jazzy recording of BWV 578 often. I loved it. It is still arguably my favourite piece ever. ever. well, that and TL de Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium. Both will accompany this post. But I learned of BWV 578 from my dad, but then in grade 12 we sang the 8 part vocal version that I will post here. And to sing it is to know it. It is my goal to get my choir to sing it one day. It is so simple and complex, so beautiful and mathematical. So contradictory. We did it, in high school. What an experience. We sang Victoria's O Magnum Mysterium. O great mystery that the saviour of the world was born among animals. Words can't express the beauty of these experiences. like orthodoxy, you had to be there, or you have to taste and see. Which is why I am a choir/band/music teacher, because you have to be in the middle of it to get it. Because of this man, John Trepp, I got it, and I get it. I hope I can give my students even half of that experience.

Memory Eternal John, may flights of angels sing you to your rest. Your memory will be eternal through me and my students.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L87ixPXviFg this is the Victoria O Magnum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L87ixPXviFg This is the Bach BWV 578.

1 comment:

elizabeth said...

Memory Eternal! What a beautiful tribute to your teacher! May God bless you in what you seek to give your students! This is very moving.