Oct 192011

I was fortunate to be a student at Bettendorf High School in the ‘60s when “Mr. (Bernie) Vogel” was the director of the acapella choir and the madrigal singers.

I am grateful for the broad exposure to Church and classical music I received and for a life-long enjoyment of Palestrina, Bach and Handel. After considerable debate, he allowed us to sing “Let’s beat Keokuk” to the tune of the “Hallelujah Chorus” at a pep rally, but he insisted it be sung well and we had to work hard on it.

Many of us were enthusiastic about the first rock musical, “Hair,” but he challenged us to defend the value of the music and message. In a public school setting, he expressed his faith by his demeanor and expression of values, as well as by his commitment to excellence in music and teaching.

Deborah Barrett, Ph.D.

Costa Mesa, Calif.

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