Mr. Fisher, The Voice Inside My Heart

Ken Fisher has been the voice inside my heart guiding my steps since I was 7 years old! I don’t know how it all happened, but at 7, Mr. Fisher became my piano teacher. Soon baton lessons were added. Frankly, it was hard to believe this huge man could (or would even want to) twirl a baton. I remember the first lesson and how long his baton was compared to mine. I wish you could have all seen how amazingly graceful he was with a baton and how easy he made it look! I clearly remember lessons in a room in the Fisher’s beautiful house that was almost all windows! This is not where you would think a clumsy little girl would begin to learn to twirl a baton (though I am happy to report I never broke anything). I was hooked and spent the next 11 years trying desperately to become as good as twirler as Ken Fisher. I spent years going to the Fisher’s house at least once a week. I remember Brooke as a baby, Rob as a toddler, and even the dinners they ate. How generous of them to allow me to share those moments.By 5th grade, Mr. Fisher had been a major force in my life for years. I looked forward to being a band member more than anything. Susanna Teppo and I decided we wanted to play alto sax. Mr. Fisher informed us his band students did not begin on sax, but clarinet. I really don’t know how we did it, be we convinced him we could begin on sax. Little did I know how much his decision to allow this would change my life. I can honestly say that playing the sax became a life long soulful experience for me. I will never be able to thank Mr. Fisher enough for instilling that connection with music and my sax within me!Mr. Fisher made high school the most amazing experience. His straight forward encouraging words always lit a fire in me. High school was filled with music and incredible opportunities because of Ken Fisher! Fire batons, pep band, student director, working with 5/6 grade band students, giving baton lessons, half time shows at football and basketball games, and of course the band trips!I was the twirler in the Bicentennial Parade and Mr. Fisher often was marching just to my right. I remember when we came around the corner where the crowd went crazy. He and I looked at each other with amazement and he told me he wanted me to have a “break through performance.” I know I never had higher throws or more snap in my routine than that day, even though it was raining (to this day, I don’t know how I caught that wet baton)! The crowd inspired me, but not nearly as much as Mr. Fisher’s words.As high school was coming to a close, I knew I wanted to go onto college to be music major. Mr. Fisher spent countless hours with me working on incredible hard music for scholarship opportunities and adjudications. I have no idea how he managed to accomplish this with so many students, as well as his demanding teaching and advisory schedule. Looking back, it is clear his love for all of us must have been a sacrifice his family made by sharing him. How can we ever repay them for sharing him with us?As an adult, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher continued to be a support system. I sought their advice professionally numerous times, and always wanted to share the special personal moments with them. Their genuine and ongoing interest in my entire family meant so much to us all.It is clear the music and twirling were just the vehicles used for this incredible man to teach me so much about life; setting goals, working hard to accomplish those goals, and finding joy. Throughout my career in education, I have been quick to share my stories about Mr. Fisher, my mentor and inspiration. Thank you Ken Fisher for being the voice in my heart!Sharon (Losh) Bower

Leave a Reply