Keynote for Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, 27 June 2016 

27 June 2016
a Commencement Speech
for the Graduates and Beautiful, Great kids of Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music

Though delivered just 3 days after the funeral,
this speech was written prior to the eulogy written for my Father.  
It was slightly edited before delivering it on the 27th.


Prelude:  In the score notes to “CRUZIN’… for there is much to dare,” are these words by Howard Walter in 1906.  

I would be true, for there are those who trust me;
I would be pure, for there are those who care;
I would be…

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The Story of Mrs. Han & Stormworks 

for 21 March 2020 
On the Birthday of JS Bach 
“The Story of Mrs. Han & Stormworks” 

 

Several years ago, we made “the rounds” to our favorite Sushi lady, Mrs. Han.  Something was different.  Above her beautiful smile and always kind eyes was a slightly shaven head. 

“What happened, Mrs. Han?” 

“Oh, I was in car accident.”  She spoke softly as she prepared Sushi and with a heavy Korean accent. 

“Really? What happened?” 

Mrs. Han explained how she had been in an automobile accident.  She had banged her head…

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Death to Moby Dick, a Love Story Coming Soon!) 

“The echoey sounds of stretching and cracking ice filled the inlet.  The surround had become an arena, an eternal, unearthly battleground.  The white whale broke the surface slowly.  Inching forward, it broke the ice ahead of its brow, sending mountainous shards into the starry night.” 
  
In love with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, a prequel beginning with the American Revolution was composed.  Ahab, a Love Story, is a romantic adventure describing and humanizing the boy, the son, the lover, and the crushed…

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Just Another Hill! 


Thoughts on Death to Moby Dick, a Love Story.   “Just another hill, Isaac.  Just another damned hill!”

The echoey sounds of stretching and cracking ice filled the inlet.  The surround had become an arena, an eternal, unearthly battleground.  The white whale broke the surface slowly.  Inching forward, it broke the ice ahead of it, sending mountainous shards into the starry night.   
Carney clutched his ATK.  He spun to Isaac standing at Carney’s right. “Just another hill, Isaac.  Just another damned hill!”

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The Wishing Well 


In December of 2011, while doing some Christmas shopping, I saw a man wearing a WWII Veterans cap. Over the years, I seem to have acquired a homing-beacon to such Men and Women. I feel an instant duty to put aside all else and make every effort to “accidentally” bump into them.

Our Veteran was a soon-to-be 92-year-old Pearl Harbor Survivor. As always, I had to meet him and shake his hand. Talk to him. Let him know that a now 70-year-old sacrifice was still immeasurably appreciated, and perpetually alive…

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The Psychology of Success 

 

If you’ve ever seen the movie, RUDY(with an excellent score by Jerry Goldsmith!) … you will see something of the “Psychology of Success” in action. As Henry Hartman said: “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.” 

Is that True?  Always? Let’s find out.

What does it mean to be “prepared?”

By now, I’m sure that most of you have heard about the 10,000-hour rule. What do Mozart, Bill Gates, and the best of professional athletes have in common?  Time.  By putting in a minimum, but required…

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Failure is Not an Option, It's a Target! 

 

We are tuned to believe that “failure” is something to be avoided, when quite the contrary, failure is a target point.  Warning… we are about to redefine “failure” in ways that exceed the normal usage of the word. 

 

Let’s look at it the way scientists do.

 

“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”  Thomas J. Watson

 

Every day, I take my kids down to the P.O.E.T.  (the Place of Eternal Training) It is a little pier by the waters of the James River.  There we can stretch and work-out…

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The Only Thing to Fear 

The Only Thing to Fear…

As it reads in a recent STORMWORKS Score:  “STORMWORKS is a Life-lesson in “positive obsession,” the rigorous regard for History and its Heroes, the pursuit of transcendent Love despite the storms of the world and an unwavering belief in the Brotherhood of Man.”

I once created a life-long class of students by posting 4X5 fliers… on the bottom of garbage cans in the remote recesses of Boston city streets.  Whoever found those “most-unlikely-to-be-noticed” ads and responded would…

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One of many Incredible Stories of SYNC surrounding Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE 

 

19 SEP 1945 is the 74th Anniversary of President Truman awarding General Jonathan Wainwright, the Medal of Honor.

Citation: Distinguished himself by intrepid and determined leadership against greatly superior enemy forces. At the repeated risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in his position, he frequented the firing line of his troops where his presence provided the example and incentive that helped make the gallant efforts of these men possible. The final stand on beleaguered Corregidor, for

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Never Forgotten… Forgotten? 


Dedicated to "SSIM" and a much larger Story, that one day, must be told.  This article appeared in the June 2019 Issue of "The Journal of the Association of Concert Bands".


“Never Forgotten” has been played around the world.  People like it.  In every language, people ask, “What’s it about?”

As a high school director during the 80s and 90s, I’d get to school early and challenge myself to write the warm-up for that day. This eventually led to the Function Chorales™, an important topic for another article, and…

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