Emma Barker: Class of 2020
I’ve been with TSH now for about 9 years or so, since I was in fourth grade, when I started in
beginning band, playing the flute. Then, while I played flute in our bands, I was taking private
piano lessons with Mrs. Ruth, who has been, no doubtedly, the best piano teacher I’ve ever had.
But when I was in eighth grade, I realized that while I enjoyed playing flute, it was not where my
focus needed to be. So I quit Wind Symphony, joined choir, and used that extra free time to
strengthen my piano playing by also playing piano in our two jazz bands.
Through The Shepherd’s Horn, I’ve now had the opportunities to accompany not only choirs of
all ages, but also the wind symphony and concert band, and our two jazz bands as well. And
without those opportunities that TSH has given me, I would not be about to go to college as a
piano performance major. Without the faith and encouragement that Mr. Terry and Mrs. Ruth,
and all their staff, have put into me and every other student that has come through TSH, I would
not be the musician, or person, that I am today. They are all constantly radiating the love of
Christ in their music, in their teaching, and in their actions. Throughout all the years I’ve spent
with TSH, I’ve seen students, families, and even teachers come and go, but the one thing that
never changes is the Himebooks’ love for God, for music, and for the students. I know that I, and
probably everyone else as well, am forever grateful for the opportunities and effort that the
Himebooks have given and put into each student’s life through this program.
Peter van der Bijl: Class of 2021
My name is Peter van der Bijl. I'm 17, a junior in high school, and I've been a member of The Shepherds Horn for 11 years. For as long as I can remember, TSH has been a huge part of my life. I remember being 7 years old and joining the kindergarten through first grade choir. They told me I was too small to play an instrument so I decided I would sing as loud as I could and maybe they'd let me join band. The next year I joined the band and I wanted to play flute. My 5 older siblings all played instruments, trombone, saxophone, piano, and I wanted to play something different, so I thought "Yeah! I'll play flute!" Well my mom, being the amazing mother she is, said "um why dont you play trombone? They dont have very many of those." So I said okay and begrudgingly started on trombone. I quickly fell in love and I've never regretted it. Now, I sing baritone in the honors choir, play trombone in the wind symphony and jazz band, and coach brass students in the intermediate band. Beyond the traditional vocal and instrumental skills necessary in music, I've learned teamwork, leadership, patience, persistence, and confidence. The Shepherds Horn has given me a love and passion for music that I plan to continue in college as a music education major. Because of the skills and encouragement I've recieved from The Shepherds Horn staff, various doors have opened for me in the music world. This past year, I became a member of the Memphis Youth Symphony Orchestra, and i made All West and All State for the second year in a row. Aside from providing me with the tools to excel, TSH has also given me my closest friends. From the Kindergarten through first grade choir to the jazz band and everything in between, The shepherds horn not only teaches music in an easy-to-understand way for all the small bundles of energy like myself, but it also teaches critical life skills that have better prepared me for the road ahead.