|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.