It was a wonderful gathering! Music Director David Shepard’s retirement send-off on October 6th was a heartfelt reminder of what it is we collectively enjoy about being a part of Marin Ballet. That simple ‘being a part of something bigger…or more… than ourselves.’ There was some dispute over exactly how long David worked at Marin Ballet. David himself shrugged and said he couldn’t really remember. Corinne Jonas remembers him playing in the studio back in the 80’s when she was still a student here. So, for thirty-some-odd-years or more, David’s hands connected with the keys of a piano at 100 Elm to make music…..live music….that filled our space. The notes he chose could often mimic the mood of the day, or, just as easily, shift the mood to lighter tones……his wit and sensitivity undoubtedly informing his agility as a ballet accompanist. David cares deeply about art, believing in its fundamental integrity. He enacted that artistic integrity here at Marin Ballet and we responded. Whether a student inspired in the studio or a colleague humming along in the halls, David’s hands connecting with the keys connected us.
The multi-generational ‘us’ who gathered to wish David and Jim well as they head to a new life in Tucson, AZ, really is the testament to David’s contribution. His work touched so many….even when we didn’t consciously think about it, we felt the notes….and knew we were going to miss them…..and him. So, we got together in the space where he made music to celebrate. As are most good-byes, this send-off was bittersweet. Sadness to let David leave and joy at being a part of the legacy of live music that he created for us. It was a wonderful gathering!