Good job, Mrs. Schoensee

Posted on November 26, 2011


Almost three years ago Joanna Hicks carted me off to a band concert over in Central Lake. It was a wonderful experience, and the next day I wrote a little post (Let there be music).

  • The 6th Grade Band had been together for just 14 weeks, but everyone managed to get to the end together. You may think this is a patronizing remark, but it is not. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get to the end together? Very hard. Think about Congress. Ha. Good job, 6th graders. Good job, Director Nancy Schoensee.

Central Lake Sixth Grade Band

  • The Middle School Band demonstrated the next level of difficulty and accomplishment, playing harmony in harmony. Again, I ask you, is this easy? It is not. Good job, middle school students. Good job with this one, too, Mrs. Schoensee.

Nancy Schoensee died on the day before Thanksgiving. I learned of it this morning in my Record-Eagle, where a full, loving obituary appeared. I thought of watching Mrs. Schoensee at work with all those Central Lake students–thought of how much she had given to them, how much richer their lives will be for having been in her band classes.

I thought of meeting her over at Adams Madams on a slow afternoon. There was time for a little conversation, and she overflowed with enthusiasm for the grown-up community bands that are flourishing all over the North County. It is good, she opined, to make a joyful noise together. She sold me a card, presented me with my complimentary 2011 datebook, and sent me on my way filled with a sense of well-being.

Nancy Schoensee’s life was far too short, and my heart goes out to her grieving family.  Her life was also well-lived—her love for music a gift to the whole community.

Good job, Mrs. Schoensee. Thank you.

The memorial service for Nancy Schoensee will be held on Tuesday at 11 am at Mortensen’s in Central Lake. Memorial donations may be directed to the Central Lake Bands or the Northern Michigan Flute Choir.  (Full obituary and details here.)