Haworth legacy honored by student

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 19, 2018

Trinity Oaks Singers and Ringers will honor the musical legacy of Marjorie and Homer Haworth in a concert at Trinity Oaks, 820 Klumac Road, Aug. 23 at 10:30 a.m. in the special events room.

Marjorie Haworth was a valued singer in the alto section of the Trinity Singers. A former music teacher and choral conductor, she was a cheerful and enthusiastic supporter of the group, its director and accompanist. She would take new members “under her wing” and give them encouragement. Her husband Homer, their children and grandchildren also attended performances when possible. Marjorie suggested that a former student, Mark Cabaniss, who is now a composer, might have some pieces that the Singers would like to sing and the concert features one of them, “Rockwood River,” which will be sung in her memory and in Homer’s honor.

Composer Mark Cabaniss, former student of Marjorie and Homer Haworth, has written a tribute to his former music teachers.Music publisher, producer, conductor, ASCAP composer and arranger, his works include choral anthems, musicals, cantatas, and instrumental pieces. He is also an Instructor of Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville. His success builds on the solid foundation laid by his early music teachers, and he graciously credits their influence.

A Tribute to Marjorie and Homer Haworth
By Mark Cabaniss
“Dona nobis pacem…” Grant us peace.
My earliest memories of Mrs. Haworth are from elementary school. She was young back in the 1960s, and leading our class in singing the song Dona Nobis Pacem using the universal solfege hand signals to conduct and teach us. I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 years old at the time, but this music lady who had a quick smile and warm laugh won me over immediately.
My earliest memories of Mr. Haworth are also from elementary school, specifically the 6th grade. He came over that day to meet with students who were interested in being in the band the following year. We got to choose which instrument we wanted to play and then blow a few trial notes. I chose trumpet, and to this day I can still remember him saying, “You made a good sound, Mark! I think you’ll do fine on the trumpet.” I later majored in music education as a trumpet major at Mars Hill University, a direct result of the Haworths’ influence on my life.
Homer and Marjorie Haworth were the undisputed Music Man and Music Woman of Shelby. And no wonder. They came to that small town with impressive academic credentials and proceeded to do wondrous things in that community for decades.
Homer created an award-winning graded band program that resonated not only in the county, but throughout the entire state. Marjorie led award-winning choruses and conducted new music ensembles that were featured on statewide public television. They spearheaded an outstanding musical theatre program that produced eye-popping, show-stopping performances. And that’s just a small portion of their accomplishments.
As a direct result of their influence on my life, I chose music as a career, becoming a music publisher, producer, composer, conductor and writer of musicals.
Homer and Marjorie Haworth achieved that delicate balance few teachers ever accomplish: inspiring and challenging their students to grow and reach to new heights, while keeping it all fun. They gave me and so many others magical musical memories that last a lifetime.
Even in what became her final days, and during what would become my last phone conversation with her, Marjorie was encouraging me. “Send me some of your latest publications” she said, “and I’ll see if the Trinity Oaks Choir might sing one of them.” And now indeed they are.
“Rockwood River” is a fun piece that was commissioned by the Cleveland County All-State Chorus and premiered on the stage of Brown Auditorium on the campus of Shelby High School. Homer and Marjorie spent countless hours in that facility leading students in unforgettable concerts. That the piece is now being sung in memory of Marjorie and honor of Homer gives me great joy. Because I love them both, and my life – like numerous others – is better because of them.
Dona Nobis Pacem…grant Marjorie eternal peace, and Homer continued peace on his equally amazing earthly journey.

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