[Dixielandjazz] Hello Mr. Romans.

Charlie Hooks charliehooks@earthlink.net
Thu, 29 Aug 2002 23:06:36 -0500

Bob:  This is SO great!  I've forwarded it to every music teaher I know, and
wish I could reach Charlie Tunstall, my own teacher, WWI Bandmaster, now
long dead.


on 8/29/02 10:43 AM, Bob Romans at cellblk7@attbi.com wrote:

> Hi DJML'rs,
> Letters like this are what makes teaching so rewarding...brought TEARS to my
> eyes when I read it!
> So, I just had to share it with all of you!!
> I remember Jeff very well!! A nice looking little redheaded boy with an
> antique cornet he brought to his first lesson at Lockeford school...I
> convinced his parents to get him a nicer, newer cornet right away...I guess
> the rest is history.
> You NEVER know what influence you have...
> Bob R.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeffrey Claassen <halfvalve@hotmail.com>
> To: cellblk7@attbi.com <cellblk7@attbi.com>
> Date: Thursday, August 29, 2002 10:33 AM
> Subject: Hello Mr. Romans.
> Hello Mr. Romans,
> I'm not sure if you remember me, but you taught me to play cornet at
> Lockeford school about 17 years ago. Our paths crossed again later when I
> was in 7th grade and you asked if I would be interested in playing in a
> Dixieland jazz band-- The Riverboat Rascals. I played trumpet alongside
> Dacien Sims and had a wonderful time playing tunes like Jelly Roll Blues
> and
> Grandpa's Spells. Later on, in high school, I called you and asked for
> private lessons. You were all booked up so you recommended Bob Secor.
> Well, one thing led to another, and after having studied in Sacramento and
> at North Texas State, playing in jazz festivals and performance venues
> across the globe, being presented with great opportunities and wonderful
> musical contacts, I find myself getting my Doctorate at New England
> Conservatory of Music in Boston, studying composition. I have the great
> pleasure of being a student of Bob Brookmeyer and playing lead trumpet in
> the George Russell big band, as well as taking advantage of all the other
> faculty (both classical and jazz)-- Lee Hyla, Paul Bley, Caleb Morgan,
> Danilo Perez, Robert Cogan, John McNeil, Stephen Drury, Herb Pomeroy... the
> list goes on. My calendar is booked up with gigs year-long, and I'm working
> as a music engraver for Boosey & Hawkes and Hal Leonard. Tomorrow I am
> getting married to an amazing woman, my best friend, and also a phenomenal
> trumpeter-- Michelle Ross, who also spent some time in California (played
> in
> a jazz group called The Raisin Babies).
> I've been meaning to write you and thank you for some time now, but I
> always
> managed to put it off. On the internet I saw your Cell Block Seven web site
> and decided that now was the time. From the start of my musical interests,
> you were always such a positive and encouraging factor, and I thank you
> greatly!!! After having been in the music business for a little while now,
> I
> have seen some musicians and teachers who are bitter, unhappy, and in some
> cases, possess such a large opinion of themselves, that they view all
> others
> as inferior. I often times wonder how my life would have changed had I been
> exposed to an unhappy music education at the beginning. Fortunately, you
> were my teacher at the beginning, and your happiness as a musician rubbed
> off onto me, and now, I find myself growing happier with every day, loving
> the East Coast, loving Michelle, and loving my life in music. As I continue
> my musical adventures and aim at making large changes in music and arts
> education, I believe this good cheer will rub off on others just as it had
> rubbed off from you onto me. Thank you very much.
> Sincerely,
> ---Jeff Claassen
> (If you are ever on the east coast, do not hesitate to look me up)
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