First some good news:
UCO Associate Professor of Trumpet Dr. Ryan Sharp recently returned from the UK where he competed with his Frontier Brass Band of Oklahoma in the Brass in Concert Championship. For the second straight year, Ryan captured the Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council trophy for Best Soprano trumpet. He is the only person outside of the UK to ever win the award. With the help of current students Greg Evraets and Even Drumm along with alumnus Joshua Watley, his group of central Oklahoma musicians specializing in the British Brass Band genre won 5th place overall in the leading brass band entertainment contest in the world.
More good news:
Edmond North Art teacher and CFAD Alumnus, Cara Bowerman was named North High School Teacher of the Year!
Now a story:
My mom was one of seven Roberts siblings. Within a fifteen-month period between the end of 1961 and beginning of 1963, each of them produced a child. In family lore, these cousins, Ginny, Wayne, Ken, Lorena, Lori, Chris and Steve were collectively known as the ’62 babies. The Roberts remained a close-knit family, and each summer of my youth, they convened a reunion. With a built-in friend group of 7 first-cousins, these gatherings highlighted the endless numbered days of my childhood summers. My cousins and I grew up together. For some of us, our shared experience was primarily a yearly check-in during the reunion, others lived in the same town. During the first half of our sophomore year, four of us attended the same high school in Hutchinson, Minnesota. As our lives progressed, other bonds took center stage, and some of us were more prone to mischief. Eventually, we scattered geographically and philosophically. Only three of the ’62 babies remain in regular contact on Facebook. The remainder endure in my life primarily as sunlit memories. Common DNA and the shared experiences of youth fell short of the components necessary to maintain continuing close relationships.
Last Tuesday night in a packed Jazz Lab, Dr. Brian Lamb produced a Faculty Artist Concert Series performance that highlighted “family”. He performed several pieces with his daughter Sonnet, and another song with his son Brogan. Throughout the night, the instrumentation and arrangements varied as fellow faculty members and current students joined Dr. Lamb on stage. A feeling of thankfulness and joy permeated the program. The musicians clearly relished the opportunity to create these tunes, and the audience basked in the affirmative energy emanating from the stage. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am truly blessed that my life led me to the UCO family, and the opportunity to participate in musical unions and reunions like these.
Maintaining constructive interpersonal relationships requires consistent care. Whether it is the family you are born with, the family you choose, or your work family, rewarding and successful associations necessitate ongoing effort. Empathy, forgiveness, and selflessness represent three of the more difficult human traits to express. I perceive the CFAD family as increasingly invested in these qualities. I appreciate your efforts to maintain, repair and grow positive relationships in the workplace. The additive results will continue to ripple outward from our classrooms through the lives of our students. We possess the ability to create joy. What an amazing gift.