Our vocal instructor at Hoisington High in 1938 was Ruth Jenkins, a feisty gal of small stature, but she knew what she wanted and she got it! I shall never forget her emphasis. She did NOT want us to sing as a soloist, but she always said "Listen to the person on either side of you and WATCH ME and blend with them so the audience can not differentiate whose voice they are hearing."
You know the expression that an organization is not altogether the conductor, it is the raw material they have to work with. Then it is their job to refine the product with their inspiration and motivation. Ruth Jenkins, I think, was a Methodist pastor's daughter, so she was thoroughly saturated with the feeling of choral vocal performances. Her insistence that all eyes were glued on her produced a great sound.
I will never forget that we had an A Capella number that was in Russian, and all it was was a single phrase repeated over and over again. I will never forget it. Phonetically I would guess "Hahs-poh-dee-poh-mill-wee". And it was sung rapidly, and the dynamics of it were from a whisper to crescendo, as a swell to forte. Now you take 25 vocal voices, blending as one, with eyes glued on the director, dressed in black choir robes...it was a thrill to be part of such a chorus. It was not a monotone, it had structure. It was just plain fun.
|Hoisington High School, Hoisington, KS|
|LaVerna, Ernest and Leonard Margheim with their instruments|
You've heard the expression "Everything I know I learned in Kindergarten". Well, I took private music lessons but I could say "Everything I know in music, I learned from Ruth Jenkins and Max Connor in high school. I used my study hall hour to go out to the bottom of the football field bleachers (closed in with limestone) and practice my instruments by myself.
While I went to high school, Joe Piper gave me the job of janitor at Hoisington National Bank. They had Martin Lehman and Cody Ochs in there with Mr. Piper. Well, I am getting carried away here, as I relive my high school music experiences.
All through high school, I was a busy merchant. I played two dances a week, Mannacure Hall in Ellinwood, KS and Woodman Hall in Great Bend. A Mr Morrison had a clothing store at 2nd and Main in Hoisington. He was on the Board of Directors of the Hoisington Bank, so he let me ride with him when he had to go to Wichita or Salina, just to have someone along in case he had a flat tire. He also owned several vacant lots in town so he had me chop weeds in the summer.
|Dave and Vada Edwards|
Note from Becky: You can read more about Ernie's music career at this link: http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/printartist.php?id=10639