Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wayne Conner Tribute

This post is dedicated to the late Wayne Conner. His influence on me to become a better singer, musician, and person has been on my mind a lot lately. It has been over three years since this man who I considered a second grandfather to me died. I still miss him to this day. Wayne Conner was one of the most influential people I ever had the privilege of knowing in my life. I remember first meeting him when he greeted me at the door at my audition for admission into the Peabody Conservatory.  I was eighteen years old and was a nervous wreck.  Mr. Conner made me feel at ease right away.  The following April I was fortunate to be accepted into his studio.  It seemed like everyone knew who Wayne Conner was when I would ask about him because he was such a wonderful person.  That summer I took a lesson with him at his studio in Philadelphia.  His personality as a teacher was a perfect fit for me.  Therefore, the decision to attend Peabody was an easy one.  As my voice teacher he always had faith in me and I will never forget that.  When I used to complain in my lessons Mr. Conner told me not to worry countless times.  I used to complain a lot believe me.  So much so that Mr. Conner told me to shut up during one of my lessons.  Great teachers care about there students.  Mr. Conner was always there for his students and tried to help them as much as he could.  As a student at Peabody I also had the privilege of taking Mr. Conner's Opera Literature classes.  He was one of the finest lecturers mainly because he loved what he was doing so much.  I remember being excited every time I went to one of those classes because Mr. Conner's presentation of the subject matter just grabbed me.   His knowledge of the subject matter was so vast and it would pour out of him so easily and with tremendous passion.  The main thing I can say about Wayne Conner above anything else is that he was just a wonderful man who I will never forget.  I remember going to a recital with Mr. Conner with Jose Van Dam performing.  We both had tears in our eyes after the first half of the program.  I felt a deep connection with him at this point.   Luckily I had the privilege of knowing Wayne Conner and I am forever grateful to have had that opportunity.  I loved him not only as a teacher but as a man as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment