December 4, 2011 at 9:14 AMHow many discoveries have you wished you hadn't made first on facebook? Right in the midst of all the repetitive OU/OSU football updates and complaints about the unwanted rain this evening, I suddenly learned that a musical colleague, Mike Lyons, had passed away last night in his sleep--at least, that's the report on facebook. He was the band teacher at Cook Inlet Academy, and an excellent musician. His two children came to me for piano lessons for several years, and he played clarinet and saxophone down in the pit with me in a few of our musicals. In the summers, he and his wife participated in Instruments of Change, a musical program for orphans and street kids in South Africa. Mike Lyons was a good man, through and through. I can't even think of how his wife and kids feel right now.
Music gets lodged in my head. I can still hear that clarinet, his voice. I don't like to think about the fact that it will never be heard again.
"Mr. Mac", as we called him, held that band together through sheer force of will. Without him, the school's music program fell apart. I hate to think of how many people were set adrift from music that evening. I personally didn't touch an instrument again for over 25 years.
All we can do is cherish these people while they are here, and cherish the memory of them when they're gone. And, always, cherish the music.
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