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Music In My Life in Davis

Louise Oehler relates the impact music had in the lives of her family.

Submitted by:  Louise Oehler, November 9, 2007
This entry relates to past and present
Category(ies) of this entry:  Music

In 1966-1967 while still living in Sacramento, I came to Davis as a student in a Phd program in English. In 1968, I moved here with my husband and family.

In 1969, I found myself alone in Davis with four children. Having spent my childhood in various parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas before coming to work and live in the migrant labor camps in California in 1952, my first instinct was to head for the hills where I had boundless confidence in being able to take care of and raise my four children without the help of society. But then I reflected: I could teach my children everything, or so I thought in the boundless confidence of youth, but I could not teach them music.

Without music, their lives would be shortchanged. It was then I decided to stay in Davis.  It was the best decision I ever made. I enrolled in a teacher education intern program at UCD and got a lifetime teaching credential. My oldest son Robin played the viola in the orchestra at Holmes Junior High. In high school he played in the orchestra with Mr. Brunnelle and met his wife to be, Jenny, who was in Madrigals. Ten years later, my oldest daughter Dylan sang in the concert choir with Mr. Brunelle, played viola in the orchestra, and went with him to the International Youth Festival in Vienna. Ten years later my youngest son played French Horn in the band with Mr. Lang, played the same instrument in the orchestra, and sang in the Madrigals going with them and Mr. Brunelle to Spain.

   With the children off to lead their own lives, I became active in the Davis Pickers and Singers Group, happily accompanying my old Texas songs by batterwhanging on my guitar. The warmth, the welcoming, the music of these delightful people saw me through the death of my oldest son, the death of my mother, and the adjustments to my new life in retirement.

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