Some people you can never forget.
On Thursday, February 27, a former colleague and fellow musician, Sheri Eriksen, passed away after her battle with pancreatic cancer. Sheri and I worked together as I completed my music degree in clarinet performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. For five years, she accompanied juries and recitals with me – and beautifully, at that.
She was an incredibly gifted and sensitive musician. No music score ever scared her – even when she had to perform Brahms with a broken finger! In rehearsal and in practice, she worked for not only perfection; she recognized as well as all of us that music isn’t about mere perfection. It was about creating *music,* which can never be contained by the concept of perfection alone.
Well-known in the community as an exemplary accompanist, Sheri always had a booked calendar. Her repertoire ranged from Baroque to Modern, from Telemann to Muczynski (even though I had to be the one to introduce her to the latter!).
She taught me so much about chamber music, professionalism and musicality. This was no classroom that we met in; more often than not, it was a hard-won free practice room in “Westbrook High.” There were no key course objectives. I highly doubt NASM would accredit it as a course of instruction, either. Yet the lessons she taught me will never leave.
And… you never forget someone you make music with.
I grieve for a lost fellow musician, even as I rejoice for the musical moments she and I shared together, and that she made possible. If there is music in heaven… I would be honored to play at her side again.