| It Has Been A Rough Year |
I am adding this additional chapter to my introduction, because after I initially wrote the introduction, it was very difficult to come back to it and try to make sense of all that I have experienced through the various stages of my life and the trials that I have endured or overcome. I wish ...
| The Birth of Charles Leonard Wiggins |
The story has already been written for awhile on my blog "From the heart of Praise, Prayer and Perseverance. 0; Here is a link to that posting, Below are the pictures of the blessed event.
http://fromthehea rt-dotwigg.blogsp ot.com/2008/03/an other-2-prayer-re quest-answered.ht ml
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Richard 's Story > Categories > Family History
| Date Range: 09/20/1966 To 09/20/1983 ||
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| | The School Years 1965-82
Richard Marsh (Ozanne)
Since both my father and mother were insistent on good quality education. Even in the 1960's and 70's access to quality education was difficult. In those days one could not be "home schooled". During my early years I was subject to the Public School System which had its well meant system of education.
Tucson in the 1960's was a town in a state of growth. It was 65-1966. The era was bustling in a new correction of education. I had began school in Spartanburg South Carolina completing first and second grade before my father reached a professorship at the University of Arizona Tucson.
I was a normal child just getting into the system back east, traveling out west was a new condition entirely. Although I was a very shy child I did make some friends and was somewhat dizzied by the transition out west. Tucson was a desert town and moving there from a surrounding of greenery in South Carolina was also a measure of change. Right after the summer at Chautauqua we moved out, first renting a room at a hotel in Tucson and then buying a house as soon as my fathers professorship was certain. These were model days for a youth to grow up in, an era of change as well as a good economy where growth was apparent everywhere, especially out west.
We moved from Spartanburg South Carolina in 1966. My first year in third grade was a test in the broadest sense being a newcomer from the east in transition to western schools. I was given tests to see where I fit in.
I was given permission to be a part of a special project that was new to Arizona...the advent of experimental school “Lulu Walker Elementary” in Tucson. It was a new product of education of that period offering extreme advancement that was supposed to be an advanced addition to the Tucson educational system.
Somewhere in the 1970’s however they canceled the project at this school. I only stayed one half year before changing schools to the traditional elementary program. I spent one semester at this experimental school and then was transferred to public school.
The memories of that time, and the 'experimental' education system was close to bizarre.
It was a program that pushed math and science as well as new products in education for young children, based on a high school- kind of self-discipline program. I remember the children being aggressive. The program itself was aggressive, and looking back, rather distorted when it came to subject matter, expecting the students to be ‘young adults’ at such an early age and not be children. It was not however the educational program that was problematic. It was simply the structure that was way too independent for young minds to assemble. The school eventually had problematic students and was closed to revive a more traditional system.
I finished grade school in Tucson Arizona at EL Wetmore School, a small school that gave out a nominal education grades 1-6.
During my Jr. High School years-Middle School I went to Canyon del Oro and then Amphitheater Jr. High School.
The education was fair, the demands reasonable in these programs. I excelled in arts and music with an extreme interest in the sciences during my studies putting me in a special category with other students. I cannot say that in its way there seemed a loss in the Tucson system to deal with young arts oriented students.
In 1967 I received special mention for the arts (painting and sculpture), a small parchment-
This was repeated throughout the school year in various competitions that I had entered, little awards of Merit, one in memory when I single-handedly did the graduation backdrop for the entire school in 1973 as well as appeared in several talent programs during my school years-several drawing painting competitions winning first place, or thus and such-
Several times when I appeared in public playing the piano at school, and one time in particular when music lessons (1970) were offered and auditions had to be played on the ‘flut-o-phone’. I failed the audition and was put aside in tears. The qualities of the teacher had me in the non-talent category. I turned around and begged and pleaded to be part of the group, and was denied flatly. Finally I begged for a re-audition on piano with an accompanist playing Mozart F Major piano concerto (movement 1) some Schubert and other composers in memory. After the audition I had a round of applause, my father came in and the case was rested assured-
(Incidents of being sidelined in Tucson were quite many as I remember) I resumed music in grammar school and even had a chance at conducting the Tucson Chamber Orchestra that came to our school at one time- a tender age of 11 years, however prompted-
I began High School at Salpointe Catholic High School in 73/74 after my families world tour which began my sophomore year.
I graduated High School in 1977 and attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, specializing in music, piano, and then vocal education. During this time I spent 3 years in the music program proper and then switched my major to Fine Arts towards a BFA in Fine arts, being offered both a BA and B Phil as a broader range to my studies. At that time the University system was quite different than today and the degrees were much stronger, had more substance and it was more difficult to attain the degree. I graduated with my BFA in 1982 and went directly into graduate school at the University of Arizona towards my Masters.
During my course of study I had extra courses at Tucson Business Academy (my father thought it would be good to take courses in practical matters such as general business, typing, and real estate...it was like pulling teeth...but I learned quite a bit during the night courses) , private studies in fine arts painting, drawing, composition and color from private teachers such as Jerold Bishop and Art Hutchinson (Medical Illustrator) as well as private/public studies or seminars with others on occasion that included Jerold Bishop, Ansel Adams for photography- arranged by my father during a lecture of his at the university- Donald Crowley, and Howard Terpning, Al Heldt (sculptor who I took classes with), Paulo Soleri (on several lecture series about Arcosanti and Cosanti-at the University and Arcosanti. Ted De Grazia whom I remember quite well and talked to on several occasions right until only a week before his death. Although I only met some of these artists on one or a few occasions, some are in my memory. others just brief encounters from their lectures. An autographed copy of Ansel Adams was my favorite book for many years until someone took it from my desk at the university. Donald Crowley invited me to his studio in Tucson, He was a remarkable and gifted individual who taught me some valuable lessons and later remembered me at a show years later in Scottsdale. Howard Terpning I met on one occasion.
My musical studies:
Basicly as soon as I entered the University I was studying at the music school of the University of Arizona. I studied with my father and took the ordinary core courses of Theory I and II, Music Literature, was involved with the University Concert Choir and the University of Arizona Chorus as well as having private lessons.
Outside the university I took piano lessons from my father Ozan Marsh-as well as with my mother when she was alive. It was a shuffle, but I had the best attention. At some point there seemed somewhat of a conflict of interest between (me) as a (son) and student- and the rest of his or my mothers students. This was the game, I just played along, practiced at home and would be more serious about the piano when my father would launch into my lessons at home...I would work with him on the outside of the university and try to keep a low profile with other students, why practicing at home. This was the course of things wherever, even at Chautauqua. Sometimes I was tried as a testing ground with some students of his. One thing is unique. I had the best possible teacher and one hec of a top-class education in piano. In my Junior year, I switched my major to Fine Art. I liked this a bit better and really wanted to be an artist in the final analysis. All the Theory and study to be a pianist was difficult and there was no room to practice. Moving towards a degree in Fine Arts (BFA) I could have the best of both worlds and still love music.
I was from a family of musicians, pianists. They were top caliber pianists from a very wonderful line of historical figures in the music world. Sometimes it was overwhelming, even at an early age to be constantly surrounded by piano 24/7 and listen hear and know the repertoire of each individual young pianist that studied with my parents. It was a non-stop environment. Beethoven, Schubert, Bach, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Busoni and every composer one could deem to imagine. The young pianists would come in to the studio and get a wonderful lesson by my parents which would go "all out" for their students on many levels, and then watch all the shenanigans happen on the sidelines.
There I was, right there, to see what my parents talked about, what they truly believed and sometimes how their students treated them in the final analysis. Both my parents took all their students under their wings. All the students all of the time. Each one was selected, being the best of the best for their particular skill. All were different. Each played a certain way. Some had unique talents that were specific...but when it came to piano lessons...there were no better teachers available.
As a student myself my father would make blood out of a stone. When I was young I took lessons form a Ms Teska who went through all the young students works...I did well. I had a natural ear. That was a real problem. I would often play simply by ear, or race through something in a hap-hazard way. When I was very young...about 8 years old, my parents were in the far room and I had an interest in picking up a piece of music...it was Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata (I have a recording of me playing it in 1968, my father beating time in the background. I picked it up and played it...somewhat to my parents coming running into the studio-room (our living room) their eyes ablaze and a long lecture on Beethoven would start. I had been studying only several months, but I wanted to play the big material, and like a child I wanted it now even if I wasn’t ready for it...or was I...then?
Well it was a series of wrong rhythms and many notes...but I recount that incident well. I always, especially as a child had somewhat of a musical ear that would just appropriate music. At a young age my parents use to tease some of the people with this ability to some apt musicians and conductors who would come to the house...and say: "Richard..can you play the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto?" , now how about the "Liszt E Flat"...Ok the Busoni Concerto....and I would just launch right in. If I could hear it I could play it...as though the music was somehow right in my ear. As I grew older I did become less automatic and more analytical especially with the piano lessons. My father was a technique master and so there were many exercises that I would practice ad infinitude only to lack a fluid impressive repertoire and many of the big warhorses which were technique eaters and and power thirsty. All in all it was my own choice if I wanted to play the piano or not. My parents did not persuade me nor dissuade me. It was all on my own account. But if I did take lessons...it was a Magna Lesson...sometimes that would go on to 1 or 2 am in the morning. Some of those students thought it was rough. I was always worried if I missed my lesson, or came up with an excuse...for wrong notes, or misinterpreted rhythms. If I went into the studio with junk, I had it polished out of me before I left..one tick with the metronome by one tick.
And of course for an audience...I had my parents. And with encouragement in hand if I needed this as well as criticism. Moreover I came out with the gift of music, one gift that could never be bought or sold since it is the essence of the artists ear to the pianist what the sight is to the painter. I was extremely grateful for all the lessons form both my parents. Yes both my parents were die-hard perfectionists in their craft, and impeccable masters of putting a wonderful product into the arena of music. I will always miss the Saturday or Sunday meetings of my parents and their students at our house. Today those students are on their own...some are famous...some of them became teachers themselves.
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