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by Susan Decuir

I never could sing, so why did I sign up for ninth grade choir? I guess thought it would be an easy credit, until the day I got caught talking to my friend standing next to me on the bleacher while she, along with the entire choir, was trying to focus on practicing for our upcoming performance.

I froze when I saw the choir director weaving her way across my bleacher. She stopped directly in front of me, glared into my deer caught-in-the-headlight’s fear filled dark hazel eyes, and said, “Susan, go stand in the hallway until further notice.” I never signed up for choir again.

Then, in 1979, I said yes to the man who played his guitar and sang to me, and Ron and I were married three weeks later. I remember sitting beside him in church, his deep voice ringing out loud and clear and perfectly in tune with the familiar hymns, while I quietly made my best effort to sing and stay in tune. Ron just looked at me and smiled.

When our little girl, Sarah, was born one year later, it wasn’t long before her sweet face beamed when her daddy sang and played his guitar for her. The day I first heard her melodiously cooing along, I knew she had inherited Ron’s gift and love for music.

Surely my eyes bulged in amazement, or was it shock, the time Ron lifted our baby girl off the bed then spontaneously, yet gently, placed her inside his open guitar case. I have the photo to prove it.

Sarah was about two the first time she scooted onto the piano bench beside Ron’s mother while she played one of her lively pieces on her antique upright piano. Grandma took Sarah’s tiny hands and guided them across the keys. Before long they were playing a simple duet. Sarah’s nine years of private piano lessons and hours of diligent practice proved the genetics were there.

One day, sensing that I felt left out of this musical family, Ron brought home a tambourine. Something I could actually play, and it felt good to participate. Next, I tried the drums. Ron said I could keep a decent beat, but sometimes, or most times, I drummed to a beat of my own.

In Sarah’s teen years, we attended a small church in Farmers Branch. One Sunday they needed a pianist and Sarah volunteered. Soon, she was playing every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. When Ron learned that Sarah’s friend (the pastor’s daughter) played the flute, he encouraged her to come to the house and practice with Sarah on the piano. The following Sunday she played her flute. And when Ron learned that her brother played the drums, our little church’s worship team grew to a trio.

Before long, with Ron’s patient and encouraging way, he recruited nearly every teenager that could play an instrument, wanted to learn to play an instrument, or could sing, to come to Wednesday night practice. And that’s how Faith Band was born. Ron, the grey-haired youth in Faith Band, played along with his trombone, saxophone, or guitar. They weren’t always perfect, but the Bible says, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord…and sing praise.” Psalm 98:4

Every summer the youth attended a church camp in Oklahoma. One year, the camp director’s heard about Faith Band and invited them to lead worship. Faith Bands hard work, dedication, and anointed music won Faith Band the Camp Director’s Award that year. They really were a great group of teenagers, and the band director wasn’t too shabby either.

During the four decades of our marriage, Ron has written many songs, recorded solos, recorded songs with friends, lead worship in church, home meetings, and several times ministered through his music at Reconciliation Outreach in downtown Dallas.

Many friends say that Ron sounds a lot like Johnny Cash. If only I could have been his June Carter! But every musician needs a loving and adoring audience.

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