Brassy QuarenTune pays homage to a departed friend

18 May 2020 | Story William Haubrich. Read time 3 min.

#UCTLockDownLetters is a new feature on the University of Cape Town (UCT) news site. Staff, students and parents of students: we want to hear about your experiences of work and life in lockdown. Emails, audio and video clips, prose and poetry are also very welcome. This is your space.

15 May 2020

Dear colleagues

This video is also a musical project dedicated to a colleague (part-time staff for 10 years) who passed away a few hours after I posted it. A brief eulogy for him follows.

Farewell trumpeter Dr Michael Blake

Mike is gone. The best friend I’ll ever have. He taught me to listen, to enjoy life and, amazingly, to enjoy myself as well. He taught me to be gentle, to have a charitable aspect towards others and to reflect this back on myself. To laugh, have fun, to be amused by things.

It’s not that life is a joke, not to be taken seriously, but that we can take a less harsh, more rounded perspective on our stumbling attempts when we add humor and a touch of humility. This he relayed in hundreds of ways until, bit by bit, I was transformed.

I suspect Mike subtly transformed many in this way, and although his voice is now silenced, this is what we get to keep. Ours is a richer, fuller life because of the blessing of his friendship. Although we are heart-sore that he is no longer with us, we perhaps manage a bittersweet gratitude for what he shared, and what remains with us.


Warm regards,

William Haubrich
Senior Lecturer: Brass
SA College of Music

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