Red Robe Choir President
Roots and Vines
Vol. 8 - January 28, 2004
by Bradley Nelson
I've been reflecting......my choral "roots" were planted
when I was 15 years old. The "vines" are still growing! Who
planted them? Where have they grown?
A few days ago, some answers became clear when I attended the awards
luncheon at Point Loma Nazarene University for the California Music
Educators Association, Southern Border Section (San Diego and
Imperial counties). Seated in a circle around me were Bob and Angela
Boucher, Ed and Becky Basilio, Sam Gronseth and his daughter Sarah,
Dan Jackson, Merryl Nelson (my wife), and Paul Nelson (my son).
Around that table supped a unique legacy of my past, present, and
future choral colleagues. These people represent nearly four decades
of connection to Grossmont High School, my alma mater, as well as new
friends and family connected to the choral profession.
Here's what prompted this edition of "Musings":
Dr. Richard Dunlop, Professor Emeritus of the School of Education at
the University of Missouri-Kansas City, wrote a fascinating study on
the History of the Grossmont High School Christmas Pageant. Dr.
Dunlop taught on the faculty of Grossmont High School and served as
general director of the school's Christmas Pageant from 1957 - 1962.
While reading his fascinating research, I was transported to the very
roots of my love for choral music.
Our clockwise and chronological seating at the CMEA awards
luncheon, beginning with me, was:
1964 - 1968
(Former Student, Grossmont High School)
Dr. Bradley Nelson - My choir director at Grossmont High was Donald
Hubler (1962 - 1972). Click on his name to read my tribute
to him. He will be staying at my home this summer when he returns to
San Diego for a Reunion of the Red Robe Choir Alumni
that sang under him during his tenure. This will occur on my
birthday.....what a gift!
1972 - 1987
(Choral Director, Grossmont High school)
Robert "Bob" Boucher (seated with his wife Angela)
was honored at our CMEA luncheon with the Hall of Fame Award for a
retired musician in our region. Under his outstanding direction, the
Red Robe Choir performed throughout California, Arizona, and even in
1987 - Present
(Choral Directors, Grossmont High School and Valhalla High School)
Dr. Edwin Basilio and his wife Rebecca Basilio
currently direct choral programs which are both in the Grossmont
Union High School District. Ed has expanded the touring of the Red
Robe Choir frequently throughout Europe, while Becky also tours
overseas with her choir.
2002 - 2004
(President, California Music Educators Association)
Sam Gronseth (seated with his daughter Sarah) is a new
friend who teaches elementary music in Paradise, California. I'll bet
you thought all of California was paradise! Sam also directs a
community choir as well as his church choir.
2002 - Present
(Choral Director, Point Loma Nazarene University)
Dan Jackson - A new colleague who recently moved from a huge
high school program in Visalia, California to become a university
choral director in San Diego. He is already emerging as a frequent
adjudicator at festivals and conductor for honor choirs around
California and the nation.
1992 - Present
(Choral Director, Granite
Hills High School)
Merryl Nelson, my wife, (seated with our son Paul), was
honored at the luncheon with the Choral Educator Award for 2004.
Granite Hills is also part of the Grossmont Union High School
District. Her friendship with Becky Basilio (Valhalla High
School) will probably lead to a joint choir tour next year to Germany
and Austria. Paul, our son, is a senior at Point Loma Nazarene
University, completing his teaching credential for Elementary
Education. I am very proud of both of them!
Red Robe Choir Vice President
Red Robe Choir Vice President
Red Robe Choir Secretary
So, in the wee hours of the past few mornings, I've been
reflecting.....as my roots become clearer to me, I begin to see where
the vines have grown. They have meandered to encompass new friends
I realize, too, how these "roots and vines" have impacted
me creatively, as a composer.....
Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming
first entered my musical awareness when, in high school, our choir
hummed this 15th century tune as a background for tableaux scenes in
the annual Christmas Pageant.
The Feast Of Lights
was inspired by the Christmas tradition at the University of Redlands
where I sang as a college student. I realize now that my arrangement
of O Come, All Ye Faithful
emerged from the annual Feast of Lights at Redlands, but the roots go
further back to my high school Christmas Pageant. We sang it as the
choir recessed out of the gym, some with tears streaming, as we
closed the pageant!
Gladde Things and When
You Are Old are both dedicated to my high school choral
director, Don Hubler, and his wife Maxine.
Red Robe Choir Treasurer
Like the ivy-covered walls of the "Old Main" building at my
high school, my roots are fixed, firmly planted,
unchangeable.......and my vines continue to grow in new directions!
Feedback gladly anticipated at - firstname.lastname@example.org
This article copyrighted ©2004 by Gladde Music Publications
All Rights Reserved
Don Hubler, 1968
Grossmont High School - La
RED ROBE CHOIR REUNION
~ For 1962-1972
Alumni (Don Hubler's years) ~
both Don and Maxine will be there!!)
Date: Saturday, July 24, 2004
Dinner: 4:00-7:00 pm at Anthony's Restaurant,
9530 Murray Drive, La Mesa (Reservations necessary)
Singing and Socializing: 7:00-9:00(?)
pm in the Choir Room at
Grossmont High School
and Dinner Reservations contact:
Barry Dingle, '68
Phone: (760) 942-0489