Mr. Marion, The Music Man.

I do not sing alone. 
It brings out every fear and insecurity inside this seemingly confident gal. 
But then again, a lot of things do that.....

But sing aloud - No. Way.

But, once, once upon a time - I sang alone for one man in a room. It was the only way to get into the GHS Symphonic Chorale - to audition for Mr. Marion singing "My Country Tis of Thee" a-capella.  I would really rather claw out my eyeballs or donate a kidney sans anesthesia than sing in front of anyone other than my Subaru- but I wanted to be a part of this group, this community, so badly, I risked the ultimate embarrassment and rejection. 

God is a miracle worker....because I made it.  And Mr. Marion somehow helped me not feel like the biggest moron in school (although there is a good chance I was).  

When I saw my name listed as a 2nd Soprano, I was giddy - finally, I too, could wear the cumber-bun and bowtie that so many of hte older kids I admired had. 

My experience in my high school choir was superb.  All around, my experience in the Giles County School System was fantastic.  Maybe I am biased, but we have some teachers here that really care and love students. 

Mr. Marion has been making music for years at GHS - over 30 in fact.  He also has made music spiritually leading the youth group that helped lay a great foundation for me when I was ready to take the step to follow Jesus.  

I heard a few weeks back that Mr. Marion would be retiring.  I decided I must document this man teaching in action - so I talked with Mrs. Noble, the piano legend of GHS and FUMC - and she encouraged me to come out to 6th period to take photos.  

I loved being a fly on the wall in a class that once held my "calm" period of high school.  The 50 minutes (we do not do block scheduling Praise the Lord) where I could sing - rest my left brain, and talk with Katie and Courtney about the latest drama in our 16 year old lives.  I recalled many of the songs we sang- and laughed to myself as I remembered the warm-up- "Mommy made me mash my m&ms...." or "Sit on a Potato Pen Otis" rising with each octave. 

If you had to do a stream of consciousness with Chorale it would go: 

Soprano. Toys on wall. Oh Shenandoah I long to see you and hear your rolling river. May I go to the restroom.  Chorale Tour! Bandanna Bar. Naked Weenies. Bow Ties. Cute boys singing. Catch up on Spanish homework. Mr. Marion. Uncomfortable dress shoes. Madrigal songs.  Sing we and chant it. Sing a song a merry Christmas. Its a marshmallow world in the winter.  Pick up football game trash on Saturdays.  The River by Garth Brooks.  New York City.  ShhhhhCarGo. Tenors always sound pained. Cumber-buns on so the crumbs fall out. Bert and Nancy. Solo? Heck no. Andy. Hymnbook as a songbook.   6th period. Risers. People falling through the floor at Sunrise Service.  Chorale Camp. 

and on and on and on......

Last night, alumni returned to GHS and joined the current chorale on stage for a final song, "The Lord Bless you and Keep You."  It was great - and although I sang approximately 3 notes (my voice is gone - I hit like the late 20 something version of voice change) I did video and get choked on all my sentimentality.  

I hope my generation serves like Mr. Marion - and all the other teachers I just learned are retiring (Oh how I would have forced photo shoots on them all, Mrs. Austin, Mrs. Cunningham, Mrs. Reed, Mrs. P., on and on and on).  I hope we create communities that people want to be a part of - I hope we love beyond ourselves - and encourage kids - to be who they are.  

I am so grateful for the people like Mr. Marion and others who have done that for me.


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