I think one of my favorite teachers in school one was my band teacher, Mr. Bill Denbrock. I wasn't the best student on playing an instrument or even doing as I was told and I sure wasn't the teacher's pet.
So why did my band director leave such an impression on me, plain and simple - he had passion and expected respect for himself and his art. Most teachers just teach but Mr. Denbrock inspired by his actions and words. He loved music and he loved teaching music and it showed. I remember him standing on the podium directing us with vigor. He would get so upset when we weren't paying attention but you could tell it was because he wanted us to do our best, to be proud of what we were doing, to be proud of being part of the band and representing Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port High School.
He was old school. Respect. Respect. Respect. And I admired that about him. He came from an time when you respected your teachers and didn't talk back. I was an 80's child and part of that generation when that line of respect was starting to be pushed. It makes me sad now to say that and realize that's where we are in our thinking today - that the young deserve more respect than their elders.
Mr. Denbrock retired after many years of teaching and went on to take over as director of a big band now named the Bill Denbrock Big Band. His passion for his art continues to live on and inspire but in a different way. Hats off to you Mr. Denbrock for putting the spark of music in my heart and for living your passion your entire life.
Here is an interview with Mr. Denbrock and his wife from the Huron Daily Tribune date 2016.