Page of Eternal Gratitude

We never accomplish anything alone. Saying “thank you” is sometimes overlooked in our busy, cyber, alone-at-the-computer-until-all-hours world. Rich lives are made that way by people. This “wall of gratitude” is not comprehensive. If your name does not appear here, just wait! Thank you for helping make this life a rich one. It takes a village to build any life, mine has taken at least two countries and seven cities. Thank you!

Dr. Andrea Brown (spouse) and our kids — Iris Mei (12) and Isabel Lu (10), Thanks for making me smile everyday! Also for tolerating my musical and work obsessions. Also for feeding me. And for not rolling your eyes when I talk about the shakuhachi. I’m ok with the eye rolls now. They seem to happen all the time. That new instrument you heard the other night? It’s just a bigger shakuhachi. 

Wally and Dorothy Yun (The Parents)Thanks for all the things I remember (meals, funny dancing, the champagne you dumped on my head when I was being annoying) and all the many things that I have probably forgotten. Teaching has shown me how important good parents are for everyone. Being a parent has shown me just how difficult (impossible) it is to be a good one. Bravi to you both. 

The Yun-siblings — Tim & Linda, Andy & Cathy, Anna & Rick, Jean, Joe & Sue, Wendy, and Tracy & John. Looks like a village to me. Thanks for raising me.

Weston Noble (deceased) — Yours was the first session at the first choral director’s conference I attended as a teenager. Vocal placement was like magic to me then and you made me teach it to your own students decades later. What I didn’t know was that underneath all that polished technique and artistry was a musical mystic. Your path and mine are the same and for that I am eternally grateful. You are probably at this moment “choral placing” various angels so things sound better up there. You are deeply missed here.

Dr. Debbie Lou Ludolph — Thank you for transmitting music and spirituality as a single, open, and joyful whole. There is no one else I know who better embodies the intersection 

Dawud Wharnsby Thank you for opening up the world of Islam to me in an amazing musical way. You stand on the most contentious of boundaries in our world singing songs of peace, making people listen, giving us all space to breathe and envision a better way. Thank you for myself and all of the students whose  lives you have touched. I love your stories about hanging out with Cat Stevens too. Thank you for those stories! 

Dr. Leonard Enns You were the first person to meet with me about moving to Canada and contributing in the music scene. Thanks for believing in my work and being a phenomenal colleague. I love collaborating with you. 

Dr. Lynn Whitten (deceased) — Lynn! Thanks for years of listening to graduate student whining while still managing to make me a more curious and skilled researcher and scholar. I hate that I could never return the favour of those many lunches and inspiring conversations. Your presence is missed but still deeply appreciated. I did not quite follow the path you set out for me — Director of Choral Studies at a big university. I achieved it and then followed family to Canada. I hope I can still make you proud. I think John Thompson (also in Canada) and I can still do a pretty good imitation of you. You are missed. 

Dr. Glen CarruthersThank you for restoring my faith in the administration in higher education. You bring humanity and humility to your job. And somehow you make it look easy and often, fun. How do you do that? 

Dr. Laura GrayFor your openness and humaness in your teaching and chairing of the music department at Conrad Grebel University College. A special thanks for your constant attention to kindness no matter how sticky, contentious, or annoying a situation might be. I hope you’re keeping it fun!

Melissa IrelandFor helping me to keep alive the relationships you’ve helped me to forge with First Nation facilitators, teachers, and practitioners. I will keep learning if you will keep bringing the teachings my way. Thank you for being patient and open. Miigwitch!

Dr. Ken HullThank you for the inspiration in your music making and collegial humour. I’m sure you don’t know that you’ve help to make some very dark days brighter.

Dr. Carol Ann WeaverThank you for Sound in the Land 2014, your vision, and for bringing Cecelia Kim and company to Waterloo. So much inspiration in one place. So many lives tied to yours. A brilliant sharing of a rich life.

Dr. Kathryn LadanoThank you for the inspiration of your perseverance, your willingness to improvise bass clarinet with shakuhachi (the what?) and for being a huge part of East-West!

Richard BurrowsInspiration, inspiration, inspiration. You make me tired when I try to keep up with all you do. Me. . . tired? Me? In 2017 I changed your name from “Rich” on this site, to “Richard”.  Does this mean we are maturing? Thank you for years of inspiring, rocking performances. 

My Students at Wilfrid Laurier UniversityThank you for filling my days with your wild ideas. You are all more talented than I could ever hope to be. Now please graduate and use your talents to make the world a better, more empathetic, safer, kinder, more interesting, and inspiring place to live. Ok, just focus on graduating. That will do for now.

Past and present members of the University of Waterloo ChoirThere has not been one late Tuesday night rehearsal that you did not manage to inspire me and cheer me with your enthusiasm, intelligence, and superior humour. I have no idea if we sound better than other choirs “like us” but of all the choirs “like us” you are my favourite. I have no idea what that means. But “thank you”!

Larry Spieler (Chris ti Coom)The Native American flute still plays a strong part in my life largely because of you, the lore you shared, the craft, the beauty. . . to me you are always the flute master.

Michael Chikuzen GouldThank you for continuing to teach me even though I seem to never have time. You keep shakuhachi an ongoing adventure for me. I know by this writing I should have completed my shihan (shakuhachi master teacher) degree. I often wonder what Japanese performance name you will grant me, perhaps something that means “he took a very long time.”

Yoshio Kurahashi (Yodo Kurahashi II)Thank you for making the shakuhachi something magical and inspiring for me. There is no one who has transmitted the soul of the instrument and tradition better than you. 

My Shakuhachi Students Past and Present: Cameron, Josh, Diana, Kyle, Rebecca, Erin, Amy, Jeff, Mitch, Andrew, Shaahin, Lucian, Chris, Ian, Rinor, Isaac P., Isaac M., Tamara, Molly, etc. For keeping my shakuhachi standards high and for bringing your patience, musicianship, and considerable musical intelligence to the shakuhachi table. Thank you for not throwing the shakuhachi across the room in my direction during the past several years. Keep practicing, keep meditating, keep blowing that thing. You bring a sense of peace, patience, and contemplation to our world of anxiety and pressing deadlines. You all rock!


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