Sunday night my high school choir teacher, Gaylie Lund, passed away from complications caused by a battle with ALS.  Over the last few days, I have seen former classmates talk about the common denominator we all had in school…the choir experience…or more specifically the Lund experience.

To be honest, I never had the warm fuzzies about her.  Don’t get me wrong, it was not a hatred or even a strong dislike, but I was closer to the drama teacher at my school than to Mrs. Lund.  I felt more at home in the drama department and consider my teacher there a mentor.

But as a singer, Mrs. Lund left a lasting impression.  One that I had to take a few days to process as I realized she was gone.  She was formidable in many ways.  But she taught me about music.  About how to sing.  I didn’t learn songs in her class…I learned MUSIC.  I can still read a key signature, do my “do re mi’s” with hand signals, sight read (although I don’t have to do it too often), and I know the difference between head voice and chest voice.  And that is all because of her.

I remember having to audition for her…it happened at least a few times in my 4 years with her.  She pushed me, she challenged me and when I was having the worst audition of my life, she gave me the confidence to continue (forgotten words are a nightmare).

I never considered myself one of “her” kids…I belonged to the drama department.  And I don’t think she ever really remembered me as she did some of the others in my class.  But I learned so much from her.

And really that is her legacy.  We learned to sing.  We learned to love music.  We learned that we could work hard and accomplish much.  We learned.

I learned.  Thank you Mrs. Lund.  I learned.


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