Friday, September 27, 2013

RIP Mr. Rutherford. You Will Be Missed.

John Harvey Rutherford was a great teacher. He made you want to strive for absolute excellence, and settle for nothing less. He, had an amazing sense of humour. He, was a great leader.

John Harvey Rutherford
I feel extremely lucky to have been a part of his 1983 Concert Band. It was the last he showcased before he retired. (At that point as a group, we'd been together since grade seven.)

To this very day I can still remember our final concert. 

I can still see him on the podium that warm night in June. He had our respect. We idolized his command. More than that, I remember the sound. So refined and pure. We were perfection, and he was elated.

Back in the day, I played the French Horn. I was partnered with Judy Murray, and together we played second string.

I lived 9/10’s of a mile from the school. How do I remember that? Kids that lived a mile away got to ride the bus. I did not. 

I remember I use to try and practice at home at least twice a month. Let me tell ya, lugging that baby up Hunt’s Hill, made me wish I played the clarinet! That awkward case may have been heavy, but Mr. Rutherford inspired you to want to do the work. I am proud he instilled that valuable life skill, because it's still very much a part of me today.

All this week his former students have reminisced about the impact his teaching made on them at that significant stage in their life. I was one of the lucky ones. Lucky enough to remain in a small town where he and I would occasionally rub elbows. 

Last night I got to say goodbye to an amazing teacher, father, husband, mentor, and musical genius.

He was a great man.

He was 89.