Daily Archives: June 4, 2018


Well, after seven years in the Lou, JeffA is heading back to Texas. He leaves today.

jeffa2014 - 1
At my home in 2014.

Here’s the story —

On April 4, 2011, I received this email:

     I don’t know if you remember me, but you and I spoke earlier this year about the possibility of me coming to Webster as a musical theatre major. Good news! I have been accepted into the program, and am now trying to work out the logistics.

     We spoke earlier about my serious concerns that I’d like to study voice with a classically based instructor to ensure I maintain proper technique. I’ve done some research and talked with some students . . . who told me about how musical theatre majors incorporate themselves into the school of music. With my research being nearly complete, I thought that I’d talk to you and see what my next step would need to be.

    My family and I will be up at the university in a couple of weeks to get a tour and check out the entire living situation and all, and I was hoping that I might be able to get a sample voice lesson with a couple of voice professors to see who would be the best fit for me. From my research, I’m particularly interested in possibly becoming a student of yourself or Ms. Carole Gaspar. However, I do understand that it might be a difficult task getting into either of your studios as not only a freshman, but also as a musical theatre major (considering most of my instruction will take place in the theatre arts conservatory). Nevertheless, I’d really like to see if I could arrange such a meeting/ sample lesson with you when I’m up there in a couple weeks.

Well, Jeff became my voice student, and a surrogate son in many ways.  (Even though he called me “Mr. Carter” in his original emails.)

He changed majors to Pre-Med, and then changed schools to Saint Louis University.  He stayed around for a Master of Science post-baccalaureate degree.  He took the MCAT.

He sings like a demon, he’s smart as a whip, and he’s kind and considerate.

And he’s going to med school in Texas starting next month.

Along the way, we have shared countless meals, hours and hours at the piano singing, a few drinks, some evenings at Scottish Arms.  He was a stalwart when I broke my leg, and he housesat one summer while I was abroad and painted a room or too.

Last week Jeff took the oath and became a commissioned officer in the US Navy.  The Navy will help with med school and loans to date, and he will owe them some years after finishing his training.

Jeff at his M.S. defense on Wednesday. I stole this from his mother’s Facebook page.

His momma must be so terribly proud.

We sang away the evening two nights ago. And toasted life with some damn good whiskey.

This is the guy I’d want as my own kid.

And I’m going to miss him more than I can possibly say.