DePaul ’04 (Ghenghis Barbie)
I am so fortunate to have had Jon as my first true teacher while I embarked on a musical journey in which I had no idea would take me to where it has today. Being able to hear his simply beautiful and unique sound each and every week at our lessons amidst such an impressionable time in my life was an incredible gift that only later in my progress could I fully appreciate and comprehend. I continue to remind myself of that sound every time I pick up the horn. His catch-phrase “play by how it sounds and not by how it feels” has helped me work through so many difficult experiences through the years. It will be engrained in my mind forever! Jon’s commitment to always producing and maintaining a healthy and developed sound has made such a strong and everlasting impression on me. I would like to thank Jon for his guidance not only as a teacher but more so as a genuinely exceptional human being. He acted as a mentor, listener, and even a counselor in times when I doubted myself. I will never forget the semester in which I forgot to register for lessons. I felt terrible and cried as I apologized, knowing that he wouldn’t be paid to teach me that semester. Jon wouldn’t even consider terminating our lessons and offered to let me work off my payment by babysitting his young daughter. I will never forget how accommodating and generous that was. His continued support and encouragement helped me to grow more confident and in the process encouraged me to develop my own personal style and musicality. He’s helped foster the thoughts and ideas of so many young musicians throughout the years, anyone would be lucky to have known him.