May 19, 2021 Meeting Notes

President Joanne Pierson rang the opening bell at 12:25pm and turned the program over to Tom Strode, who played God Bless America. Kathy Waugh noted that music is important to communities as a whole. It has the power to heal and inspire. She cited two examples. Gabby Giffords was unable to speak after the attempt on her life, but she could sing. This led to her recovering her ability to speak. And a soldier in WWII , who was ordered to shoot a sniper was emotionally unable to do it. He took out his trumpet and played a few pieces, and the sniper abandoned his post. Later, the sniper surrendered. We as Rotarians celebrate this gathering power of music at the beginning of every meeting.

Downs Herold continued the theme, inviting us to sing along with a pianist who was belting our “Sing, Sing a Song.”

President Joanne made some announcements without benefit of Power Point:
1) Past President Rosemarie Rowney will be our next Assistant Governor;
2) Dues are due! Executive Director put a link to our website in the chat and reminded us that ACH is now available;
3) The reception celebrating the life of Rob Boehnke will be Thursday, May 20 at 2:00pm;
4) Dennis Powers notified us that free vaccines will be available Friday from 1:00 – 7:00pm at Christ Church Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms.

Dan Romanchik is planning very informal Rotary picnic at County Farm Park Saturday, May 22, at noon.  Bring your lunch and use the Medford Entrance.

Secretary Barbara Eichmueller conducted a vote to elect Arthur Williams to serve a two year term as Director of Youth Development.

Dan Lewan told us that our frequent Rotary partner in Prune, India, has converted a hotel into a medical unit. Our club will send $3000.00 to this project and we are invited to send donations. They  can be send through the website, ACH or by check. Be sure to mark the donation for Prune, India. The gifts will be sent on June 30.

The dinner and FBI stories evening organized by Greg Stejskal for the virtual Golf and Tennis Outing Auction was a great success. Good stories and warm companionship combined for a great evening at Paesano’s. Watch for this again at our Golf and Tennis Outing on September 13 at Fox Hills Country Club. Kathy Waugh will be rounding up items for the auction.

Mark Ouimet remembered Herb Ellis. Herb was our first African American member. He was a close friend of Mark’s family. He was an educator and inspiration to all who knew him.

Notes from the Program

Tom Millard introduced David Leach, Director of Bands at Pioneer High School since 2002. He was appointed Chair of the Pioneer High School Performing Arts Department in 2006, and Fine Arts Department Chair in 2013.He sustains the long tradition of quality performance and repertoire in the Pioneer Bands. During his nineteen years at Pioneer, his Symphony and Concert Bands have received consistent top ratings at district and national festivals. His Symphony, Concert, and Jazz Bands have won overall festival championships at every national event entered.

Mr. Leach’s enthusiasm is infectious. He told us about teaching band during Covid and shared some pieces with us. The students used Upbeat Live and Upbeat Perform – apps, of course! Upbeat Live is a real-time online rehearsal tool. It’s similar to a video chat, except you can also practice music together without latency getting in the way. Upbeat Perform allows you to create beautiful virtual performance videos with up to 140 people in minutes for concerts. Mr. Leach played several sections for us, showing horns, woodwinds and drums with kids at home playing in perfect unison. He then played a clip of the whole band. For the finale, the students voted for the march from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and we could all hear the hoofbeats and see the Treasury at Petra come into view.

President Joanne retook the podium to announce that Bob and Jeannine Buchannan’s son Greg will be the speaker next week. Greg is a colonel in the Air Force, and his topic is Air Power in Today’s Changing World.

President Joanne left us with two thoughts:

Berthold Auerbach – “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Jewel – “Some people think music education is a privilege, but I think it’s essential to being human.”