No where in a music score does it tell a listener how to react properly. When you read music as you play it’ll cue your brain to manipulate the instrument that you are playing into crescendos or fortissimo or some other type of expression, but it doesn’t give the listener any cues as to how the music will affect their heart. It’s up to you the musician to put passion and voice into the music to make it memorable for the listener.
He was the former band director of our little school in Iowa, and he passed away in a bike accident a few short days ago. Last night as I sat in the hot gym I sat with his friends and family as we listened to speeches, scriptures and songs given in honor of a man who devoted his life to the art of making sure the listener listened to the music being played.
His friend spoke of times they adventured. His oldest daughter spoke of his love for doing small things everyday to master anything. Love poured out of the lifelong friend who sang “Bourning Cry.” Then there was a band, 40 steller musicians that offered their time and talent to honor the legacy of a man who had touched them in some way.
I listened to the music played by this all star band made up of former students, colleagues, and lifelong friends and my heart captured a glimpse of deeper things that happen when one gives their time to play in a band. The diligence of practice that must occur. The friendships that form between people who play the same instument. The sheer grit it takes sometimes to get through learning a new song or instrument. And for this band specifically, it was the beauty of many parts making something amazing together to honor a man who knew God consistently, loved his family emmensly, and gave over 30 years of his life to the art of making music in the local school.
Mr Dahn, you’ll be missed by this community you called home. You’ll be missed by generations of band students you so patiently guided and lead over your years as band director, but most importantly your life will be missed by a whole host of people that you encouraged excellence from simply because your passion for great music was contagious.
Did you know the Lead is a writer? He wrote and framed this poem for our fifth anniversary. We were two kids in and trying to live dreams that seemed to have been squashed overnight by God. We were just surviving daily on what we had been given when we had grown up in our own perspective houses. Him, yelling. Me, avoidance. It was a perfect pair. Five years in I can remember thinking, man we have a long way to go till death do us part. We weren’t even 30 yet. Babies trying so hard to be a family on every account. Both of us stubborn as hell.
We struggled so much.
Yet, here we are. Year 22. Twenty Two years you have called me your bride. Twenty Two years and God has hacked off our rough edges and is honing us into more of what He desires us to be as people. So that He is more glorified in our relationship. Somewhere around year 17 he took our hearts and smashed them together again and said in His own loving and grace filled way. “Tony, you be you. Kelly, you be you. Your love will grow from this one thing. Don’t worry about the other person just stay close to Me and I’ll show you how your words and actions can radiate me back to them so they can be reminded to stay close to me.” It was a game changer.
When we come to the end of our lives and we have to part, I’ll shout it from the roof tops that the only way we stayed married all these years is God. He is the reason I love the Lead so much. He is the reason I can put my own agenda aside and faithfully walk next to a man who loves Jesus just as much if not more. Sure there are things I still get annoyed with but honestly they are trivial compared to the state of his soul. If I can influence that on anyway I need to stick close to God so that I can do it honestly and with integrity.
Year five has come and gone. Year 23 starts today and I am so joy filled that we both didn’t stop loving each other at the same time over the years. Because your love Mr Lead carried me through some dark days and off the beaten path adventures. Tears fill my eyes over the Christ like love you have shown me. I love you and will forever My Lead.