Shared by Deb Kucera on October 31, 2020
In September 2005, I embarked on a journey which brought more richness to my life than I could’ve imagined. That journey was studying voice with Jonathan Thull.  In early 2005, my husband, Charlie, was part of an opera chorus for which Jonathan was the choirmaster and Charlie encouraged me to start voice lessons with Jonathon.  I was very much a novice vocalist at that time with no previous training.  Jonathon had an amazing ability to identify the challenges I was having with vocal production, demonstrate what I was doing incorrectly, then demonstrate the correct way and guide me toward correct vocal production with his patient persistence and the injection of his wonderful sense of humor into the learning process.  With his expert tutelage, my voice changed from an unsupported voice with a one octave range to a voice with more color and a wider range.  My improved vocal production opened up opportunities to be a part of new musical experiences which added yet another layer of richness to my life.  When I started voice lessons, I was a nurse on a pediatric hematology oncology unit, a life that had many moments of poignancy and sadness.  During those early years, I often told Jonathan that our time together was like therapy. I always left feeling calmer and more at peace after sharing that time creating music.   As Jonathon and I worked together over 15 years, our student-instructor relationship developed into a special friendship.  My heart is filled with sadness at the thought of a life without Jonathon in it, both with respect to my musical journey and with respect to our friendship.  I will miss our work together: the moments when, after multiple attempts, I achieved a new goal in vocal production; the rare times when Jonathan said, “that surprised me” when I achieved something unexpected; our annual joyful rendition of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” with his Jingle Bells piano flourish at the end; his use of humor to encourage when I became frustrated; and the ever present joy of working together.  I will miss our friendship: his smile, his laughter, his encouragement in all aspects of my life, his hugs, our heartfelt conversations about his cancer journey and the depth of his friendship and caring.  You will stay in my heart in the memories I have of our times together.
Shared by Keith Johnk on October 29, 2020
I will forever miss our late night air guitar jam sessions as we rocked out to "Freebird" while building sets for community theater. Love you man.

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