Monday, March 05, 2007

Another Star-in-the-Making

A few weeks back I took some space here to brag on the theatrical talents of our youngest son. In the interest of equal time, and equal love, I dedicate the following paragraphs to first-born son Ian, who informs us he has also chosen to pursue a life of performing. It must be in our genes.

Ian Robert Calhoun was born on a sweltering day in July of 1980. Those with a good mind for history might remember it as the year that Mount St. Helens blew its lid. That summer’s drought caused the place where Ian was born, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, to conserve water by serving patients food on paper plates and forbidding them to bathe or shower for days at a time. It was an awful source of discomfort to Barb while recovering from childbirth. But the person we got out of it was worth it.

For the last year-and-a-half, Ian has been part of the ski-resort culture of Colorado. He’s been a personal trainer and all-purpose employee at the Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt hotel at Beaver Creek. He possesses a degree in marketing from SIU-Carbondale. But, like many with a formal education, he hasn’t quite found his niche in the field of his training. He now believes his true calling to be music.

This doesn’t come as a surprise. Ian amazed us a number of years ago when he stopped tooting the horns of his grade and high-school days and picked up a guitar and taught himself to play. Not just play… but REALLY make it sing. He demonstrated right there the instinct, patience, and talent to be a professional musician and songwriter. Now, his rock music love affair has caused him to pull some friends together to form a band. Ian will be a singer/guitarist. He’s got a friend who also writes and plays guitar. Another is lined up as drummer. They’ll need to add a few more pieces to the puzzle, but that’s already in the works.

Ian comes by his musical inclination and proclivity naturally. The musical genes on his mother’s side run deep. Grandpa Bob is an excellent singer with the St. Peter’s Cathedral men’s choir. Given the right opportunity, I’m convinced he could have become a famous classical tenor. Barb’s late grandfather, “Prof” Miller, was the organist and music director at “the Cathedral” for many years. He was said to have been a wonderfully talented man as well. On my side, well nothing quite so renowned, but I played a mean accordion and was a pretty fair singer in the high school and college choirs in my day. My parents were musically inclined as well.

Ian and favorite Colorado tree--->

Ian has now decided to abandon the mountains and head for the big city after this ski season. What big city? Right now it looks like either Chicago or New York…but I’m guessing that could change depending on how opportunity presents itself. Our young rocker has impressed the pros enough in the past to be invited on stage to sing a tune or two with bands performing in Carbondale. Now he’s written enough music, and feels confident enough as a performer, to go for the brass ring professionally.

When you see the way some people in music become instant stars…and then flame-out to obscurity…it’s not terribly easy to watch your offspring walk into that environment with great expectations. Music “stars” seem to come and go with the seasons. But your child’s dream is what’s important. If Ian has settled on what his life is about, who are his parents to question it? Just as with his brother Stewart, we can only say “go for it with all you have” and be as supportive as we can. The life, the dream, the talent and the time are all his to do with as he pleases. I’ll let you know here when the first CD comes out.

One thing is for sure, there's no dad anywhere that could be any prouder of his sons than this one.

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