2005/07/11

Mr. Holland's Memories

So I am not completely up on the deaths of many people whose work I admire. In an earlier post I mentioned that I only recently discovered that Larry Burkett, financial mentor to many Christians through his work with Christian Financial Concepts (which now operates under the name of the ministry merged with it, Crown Financial), passed away a few years ago. Tonight, I made a similar discovery while watching Mr. Holland's Opus.

First, let me say that Mr. Holland's Opus is an extremely inspiring film. For me, especially, because it's about a musician with dreams of grandeur settling for a day job. Just like me. What's not like me is that Mr. Holland's day job as a high school music teacher offered a level of interaction to influence a generation. Several generations.

What does a movie have to do with real life? Apart from the montage sequences that guide us (like a compass, a symbol often mentioned by the high school Principal), the believability of the characters and their situations, and the storyline elimination of the arts, music, and drama budget causing the retirement of teachers of those subjects, I would have been willing to say that movies and real life are similar but distinct.

Fortunately, the composer of the soundtrack to Mr. Holland's Opus decided that the very real situation prescribed by number-crunchers as a solution to the education systems financial woes decided that he could no longer be silent. Mr. Michael Kamen, a brilliant composer responsible for the soundtrack to Robin Hood, Die Hard, and Highlander as well as many others (he even worked with Metallica), started the "Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation" several years ago to provide funding toward music programs in the USA.

Over and above the emotional realism in the movie, the fact that Mr. Kamen would address the very real budget-cut situation in the world today makes me stand up and salute the man for his willingness to do something about the problem.

I am saddened, however, to hear that Michael Kamen passed away in November 2003. Fortunately his memory lives on at www.michaelkamen.com and through the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.

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