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Ep10 : Music Education : A Dedication to Gail Rorick


My my, Yeah. Listen to that music. It’s so beautiful. So refreshing to hear music like that. Hey, everybody, this is Mr. Hague, and today my podcast is actually a dedication. It’s not really related to education. It’s about the music that I use in this podcast. And I’ll play some of that music. But I wanted to dedicate this session to an old, late, great friend of mine.

Her name is Gail Roderick. Gail was born on April 30th, 1969. She sadly passed away from lung cancer on January 4th, 2021, which I guess is just shy of her. Oh, I don’t know, 51st or 52nd birthday. And they say that life is not about how long one lives. It’s about what you do with it, the lives that you touch, the friendships that you made, and how you make a person feel.

Well, if that’s true, Gail is a great example of that. A life worth living. The music in this podcast is produced and played by a former band called Phil’s Harmonic Orchestra, and the album is called Reason to Dream. Honestly, folks, it’s one of the greatest jazz music I’ve ever heard. And amongst the heart of the band was the one lone violinist, Gail Rodrick, one of the best I’ve ever heard play.

Her skills, along with other members of this band, came up with music that is so smooth, so enjoyable, so easy to listen to. Here’s a sampling of a song called Christine.

< song>

Oh, yeah. I can listen to that all day. Gail and I met in 1998, in a town called Novato in north Marin County, about 30 minutes north of San Francisco. And we worked together for this tech company. I was a web developer. She was a receptionist secretary. Her job was to greet visitors at the lobby, and whenever I walked in, I would see Gail and that bright smile of hers.

She was always smiling and always saying a happy hello to us. I would stop by and chat with her a few minutes before going off to work, and client. Honestly, it was one of my favorite parts of the day because she just made you feel great. Many times her and I would go with a group of workers and we would have lunch together, or we just kind of talk about how much we hated that company.

You know, Gail took a lot of crap, but regardless, Gail always wore that smile. She always had a positive outlook in life. She really enjoyed the people around her. Then one day I saw her selling this CD, A Reason to Dream on her desk, and because she was a friend and I wanted to be supportive, I went ahead and bought one.

So I popped it in my CD on my computer and I listened to it. And then I heard this song.

<song>

I think I listened to that CD over and over again that day. And hundreds of times over the years. The music is spiritual to me. In the 90s. Things are so fast, so new. The tech sector was booming. Investors were throwing money to these companies like Candy, and I recalled I was not having a great time there. The bosses weren’t very nice and I had relationship issues as well.

And a private note. But Gail would always perk me up. She always cheered me up. She was so comforting, reassuring, just a true, honest friend. Then one day we had a company picnic and Gail had her band play for the employees, and I saw her perform that violin. This is the song she played.

Oh, yes. Listen to that violin. Listen to Gail. Also wonderful. Well, eventually I left that company and I ended up moving back to Southern California. Gail went to work, in the Petaluma area, and I think it was about 15 years went by before Gail and I reconnected through Facebook and seeing her pictures on her Facebook post, it was no surprise that she was everyone’s cheerleader.

She remained the wonderful person that I always knew her to be. She always put others first, even before herself. She cared. She loved. She shared her best self. I actually reached out to Gail to get permission to use the music from this album on various works I’m doing, including this podcast, and it was later I heard the devastating news that she suddenly passed away from lung cancer.

I myself am a prostate cancer survivor, so I understand how awful this disease is. Why her? Why the little Miss Sunshine that spreads so much joy into people’s lives? Well, I suppose there’s a higher power that figured she can better serve humanity in the heavens. And for those of us who loved her, appreciated her, and was touched by her, if you hear those gale force winds, you can hear that violin play and see that bright smile she so beautifully displayed.

Gail. When we see each other again this time I want front row seats. Until then, keep on playing. My friend. The album is called Reason to Dream by Phil’s Harmonic Orchestra. You can get this at Apple Music or even at Amazon. And I have a link provided on my website. Mr. Haig’s class. I also want to thank Myles Olson, one of the other band members of Phil’s Harmonic Orchestra, for not only giving me permission to use this music, but also creating it so much more.

The reason to promote music education in the schools because music brings joy. And that’s what Gail did. She brought joy. I’ll end this podcast with this one more song. So go ahead and purchase a CD. Trust me, it’s so uplifting.

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