I have been thinking quite a bit about a recently deceased former member of the KSO, bassist Dale Watermulder. His death on May 8 cast a shadow on those who knew him, and the May performances that followed were tinged by that shadow.
Dale came to Knoxville from Michigan in 1977 and started his library career at the Fountain City branch, moving to the Lawson McGhee (downtown branch) in the early 80's. He was the force behind the establishment of that branch’s awesome Sights and Sounds (A/V) collection, which has been a valuable reference over the years for many musical endeavors of my colleagues and I. He was always curious about my summer opera festival playing, and had a lot to say about even the most obscure works that I performed at Lake George and Des Moines Metro Opera.
We were both principal string players in the Oak Ridge Symphony for a time, roughly 1994-2000. As a fellow diabetic, we had many stories to swap. I always felt I had learned something after a conversation with Dale, but subtly so; the wisdom of his words took a little while to sink in. He cared deeply about the things he did and believed in doing them well.
Thank you, Dale, for making Knoxville a more cultured place– one dvd, one cd, one bassline at a time.