Henry Williams has been a student at DSM for over 10 years. During that time he has played tenor sax in the DSM Jazz Ensemble and has performed on several recitals and showcases. He also performs for special occasions at his church where he is an active member.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend Henry's retirement luncheon where he was honored for 45 years of service with the United States Government. It was easy to see the mutual respect and admiration of his coworkers, friends and family, many of whom traveled far and wide to attend the celebration.
Although I have seen Henry at his sax lessons each week over the past decade, met his wife Ernesta, and have even been invited to his home for dinner, I learned a few new things about him today. He was a member of the Special Armed Services of the United States Army and also worked in the Department of Defense at the Naval Shipyards in Philadelphia, PA. He became a Supervisor of Accounting in the Comptroller's Office and a Branch Chief and Senior Negotiator with the Department of of Health and Human Services. He retires as Director of the Central States Field Offices, Department of Cost Allocation.
Henry and I performed a few songs at the luncheon today and he sounded terrific as always. Many of the folks in attendance knew he played the saxophone but had never heard him perform. The program for the event included pictures of things he'll do now that he "has some time"... gardening, saxophone, golf, travel, worship, and simply enjoying family and friends. After feeling the amount of love in the room there's no doubt Henry will have plenty to keep him busy!
It has been said that the greatest thing about music is the people you meet through it. I think I can safely speak for all of the faculty and staff of DSM and Musicked when I say that we are blessed to know each and every one of our students. It has been a pleasure working with Henry. I look forward to making many more memories in the coming years! Congratulations Henry!