Retiring choir teacher invites all of his past students for one last glorious song
Teachers make a lasting impression on their students and that seems to be amplified when you have the same teacher for multiple years. Students that take certain classes like band and choir have more time to spend getting to know their teachers through long rehearsals, competitions and ceremonies. You build a bond with the teachers and classmates which makes goodbyes at graduation hard.
When a teacher retires, there’s no coming back to visit your old teacher because you were in town and eventually you just settle for carrying them in your heart. But what happens when they call you back for one last song? You show up. Jim Stanley was retiring after teaching choir for 30 years, and instead of a typical retirement party, he decided to invite all of the alumni from the past three decades to sing one last song together.
Stanley knew his crew because they had one rehearsal together before they were due to perform with him directing the group. This mash-up of old and new alumni sound as if they’ve always sung together under his directorship.
Thank you, Mr. Stanley. When Mr. Stanley retired, he sent out an invite to all his old students, inviting us to come sing and be directed by him for one last day. I blocked it in my calendar and didn’t work a wedding, specifically so I could go to my small home town and sing for one last time with all the people I grew up knowing. It was so emotional. So many memories flooded back, we had the strongest choral program of a town our size, all because of Stanley. Many of us became artists and mysicians professionally. Reuniting and seeing the life path of each former student was wild. SHOUTOUT to Lisa for the solo, she is amazing. #mrhollandsopus #choralmusic #teacher #inspiring
Maggie Smith Kühn uploaded the video of the rehearsal on TikTok where it racked up over 2.2 million views.
“When Mr. Stanley retired, he sent out an invite to all his old students, inviting us to come sing and be directed by him for one last day,” Kühn wrote in the caption. “It was so emotional. So many memories flooded back, we had the strongest choral program of a town our size, all because of Stanley. Many of us became artists and musicians professionally. Reuniting and seeing the life path of each former student was wild.”
The camaraderie and emotions that must’ve flowed during that rehearsal and subsequent performance had to be immense. There are few things that can top the feeling of perfecting a difficult piece of music when you’re a musician. While the night was about Mr. Stanley, everyone involved will likely remember this for the rest of their lives.
Watch the final performance below, the soloist is Lisa Lowe Douglas and she clearly has maintained her vocal abilities. What a beautiful moment to share.
Replying to @CoffeyKaffeine Here it is! Lisa Lowe Douglas performing “City Called Heaven” directed by Jim Stanley. #choralmusic #mrhollandsopus #inspiring #lisalowedouglas
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