Page 41 - foxtalk issue 2

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41
Winter 2011
BAND
leader of the
This man, his devotion,
his connection to students.
Art Himmelberger is ‘Music at Marist’
by Kathleen Norton // photos by Chanel Vitale, ‘12 & Ryan Hutton, ‘11
YOU RIDE AN ELEVATOR TO THE BASEMENT, GET OFF,
LOOK AROUND A PLAIN HALLWAY AND YOU THINK:
CAN THIS BE THE PLACE?
Sure, there’s a poster that reads “Music at Marist.’’ But can this be
the place where glorious trumpets and heavenly futes fnd common
ground?
Where Marist choruses sweeten harmonies? Where the famous
college band drums up all that pep? Where some 450 students per
year learn and rehearse everything from jazz and gospel to classical,
swing and funk?
A door opens and a man strolls out – the details of a thousand
practices and performances fled in his head. On the tip of his tongue
are stories about his 10-year tenure as director of the Marist Music
Department.
Tere were highs - like the time his students chipped in to pay
his overseas airfare for a visit with his daughter in Germany, or the
graduation speech about the big impact the music program had on the
valedictorian, a bio-chemistry major.
“I’ ll never forget the sense of pride I had,’’ he says of the speech.
Tere were lows - like the unfortunate fate of a Marist tuba case at
a Florida airport.
“It was run over by a truck on the tarmac at the Orlando airport,’’
he recalls.
Te more he talks, the more his enthusiasm climbs, and the more
you begin to see the Energizer Bunny soul peeking out from his calm
exterior.