During my high school period some of my best times were in choir and drama club, both of which inevitably connected in the annual musical production. I may not have much about me that says choirboy, but I did it somewhat more successfully than the disastrous physics class attempt at the same point in time.
Choir was every other noon hour. It was a new educational venture for me, although the musical productions were established. There was supposed to have been a real wave of musical interest among the students at that point of time mid-to-late 80s.
I was in the bass section with other friends. Two of them actually had a side project in a barbershop quartet. They were all fans of the accapella group The Nylons. Choir gave me my post-gym class exposure to the Beach Boys, by singing their medley. I would catch a ride home with my choir teacher after practices. She was the daughter-in-law of my elementary music teacher, Mrs. Poole, who had struck me as really academic when I was six or seven singing “Jimmy Crack Corn.” Mrs. Poole II, the choir teacher, would explain that she came from a family versed in classical academia and married into a family of Rush fans. Having no classic rock background, she got the kind of education real fans will give you. She had told us a story of coming home to her husband singing a Meatloaf song on acoustic guitar to her, which I’m sure she loved.
She figured me not to be a Beach Boys fan since I wasn’t that good at it but would work harder at Dvorak or John Donne, nearly anything classical or baroque. I also ended up with a prejudiced dislike of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” (although I otherwise have loved jazz). It was already too over-used to me. Overall, choir was so much fun despite the lack of a Doors medley or even a Simon and Garfunkel option. We had arguments within our geeky ranks to include a branch of serious drama. Imagine small town teenagers tackling David Mamet or Eugene O’Neil. At least I was the Cowardly Lion and I am a sincere fan of Oz.
I had a phone call from my son maybe a year and a half ago where he confessed to giving in to a shameful temptation. He was so sure he could just blow it off but he indulged and got hooked on television’s Glee. Not something I’m watching – I used to be there for real.
Reinhardt lives in Boyle Street with his wife, Keri Breckenridge.