Remembering Mrs. Gregory

 

Veteran L.C. Bird High School music teacher and choral director Margaret F. Gregory died suddenly on March 1. In the days since her passing, nearly 1,600 people have joined a group created in her memory on a popular social networking site, and hundreds of messages of love, sorrow and support have been shared. The Village News invited members of the community to share their stories of how Mrs. Gregory touched their lives.

“She sang with us down here, and now God needs her to teach His angels how to sing.”
– Ashley Sealock, former student

“All of a sudden, images blur in my reflections
I’m always counting blessings turning tragedies to lessons,
But the latest brought depression and tears to the strongest eyes,
But when I fantasize all the cries harmonize
R.I.P. Ms G we all miss u
Such a strong soul only God knows what u been through
Gone but not forgotten we will carry on your legacy
You will live 4ever in my heart Mrs. Gregory”
– Poem by Derrick Moten, former student

“In 2008, my senior year of high school … I took the leap and auditioned for Guys and Dolls. … I walk into the choir room with Mrs. Gregory staring me down. I was her show choir drummer for two years, so seeing me audition for a musical was shocking. I stand in front of her for a couple minutes thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ Mrs. Gregory laughs and says, ‘Do you have anything to sing? No? Sing Happy Birthday then.’ I get through the song and Mrs. Gregory says, ‘You can sing, Michale.’ I stood there in shock. I return for call backs and get the part of Nathan Detroit. … Mrs. Gregory was with me every step of the way. … Although it’s cliché, Mrs. Gregory showed me that I can do anything I put my mind to and that I should never take the easy way out.”
– Michale Siverio, former student

“She definitely was passionate about music and passed that along to all that she met. She lit up the room when she walked into it, and beyond teaching music she really did teach everyone that she met about how to live and love life to the fullest. … I will always cherish the lessons she taught me both inside and outside of the classroom, and to honor her will strive to live my life as she lived hers. I pray that I can be the same type of inspiration and joy to others I meet and work with in life as Mrs. Gregory was to all she met.”
– Rachel Westra Marsh, former student

“Mrs. Gregory touched my heart in so many different ways. She was my choral teacher for all four years of my high school career; however, she was so much more than just a teacher. Her heart was so genuine; she truly cared about everyone, and she was always so full of life, even at 7 a.m.  She always said to me, ‘If I had a daughter Rebecca, she would be just like you.’ And I pride myself on knowing I had a second Mom who touched the hearts of so many people.”
– Rebecca Sprouse, former student

“I am a member of the ’Class of 97.’  I was lucky enough to have been taught by the great Margaret Furgerson Gregory.  I did not realize then what I do now: That Ms. Furgerson/Gregory had given me something that I would cherish forever – a complete love and passion for music. …  It was an honor to have been taught by her and a privilege to have been her student.  I thought that she had only impacted my life in the manner that she did, but, looking out at the sea of people at her memorial, she impacted the lives of many.  She imparted her gift of music to everyone who she came in contact with, and we are forever changed and forever grateful by the experience. Thank you, Mrs. Gregory, for coloring our world through song!”
– Jessica David, former student

“My son played in the show choir band under Mrs. Gregory, and I know some of the young people who sang under Mrs. Gregory’s guidance.  It was a joy to watch these young people and see how Mrs. G interacted with them.  She had a unique talent of bringing out the best in a wide range of students: Inspiring, leading and making sure they all still had fun, too.  Music and laughter are a wonderful combination!  That is a truly special gift, and my hope is that the young people whose lives she touched will make her smile in heaven as they pursue their talents.”
– Lauri Savage, L.C. Bird parent

Comments

I miss you <3

One of my best memories with Mrs G was senior year, 2005, the day of mock district auditions. As she sat there with her back to the wall, I belted out every note with evetything I had in me. Usually I'm the girl who LOVES to sing & be on stage with a group, but solo's were the most petrifying thing on the planet for me. That was my first solo performance of any kind, ever....Mrs G was supposed to try and guess who each student was after their "mock audition", before she turned around to give feedback. When I was finished, she was baffled. I remember her saying "I know I've heard that voice before, but never like THAT!"...she took a few guesses and pondered for a couple of minutes, but finally gave up and turned around. The look on her face was priceless, she was so proud of me! She got up, ran to me, wrapped her arms around me and said, "There you are, judy mac! There's that voice I knew you had deep down!", and then she looked at me with that infamous smile and said "How dare you make me wait 3 & 1/2 years to hear that! THAT is the voice that WILL get you into districts!"...and then she hugged me again. I will never ever forget that day, her words, and especially those hugs. Those hugs are what gave me the courage to step out of my comfort zone and go through with the auditions.
I made districts that year, and ranked 4th in the district for 1st Soprano. Mrs Gregory taught me so much more than just music notes and harmonizing, she taught me to reach deep down & find courage I didn't even know I had.
Her lessons & memory will live on in my heart forever. RIP Mrs Gregory, Love & miss you always!

Former Student

She was an amazing woman. She was an inspiration and a a great music teacher. She supported us like a mother when Erica died, she held our hands and lifted our hearts allowing us the strength get on the stage a couple weeeks after the accident. She led us into many and many 1 & 2 places in show choir comps. Fun games and warm up vocals were never a surprise. she trully was an inspiration to us all, and is missed. I love you mrs.g

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