I wonder if everyone has a Miss Nell somewhere in their background. She was our music teacher from about the sixth grade straight through our senior year in high school.
Miss Nell (Millard) also taught us to play the piano and was our church choir director. I saw her everyday of my life for at least 12 years. She was a combination of tough task master and genial push over.
Her crowning moments were each year in December when she magically transformed a bunch of street urchins into an angelic choir bringing down the house with our finale – Hallelujah chorus.
Our parents thought we would all matriculate to the Julliard School of Music. None of us did.
Olivia reminded me this morning about a classic Miss Nell moment when she would delight us with “The Laughing Song” – does anyone else remember it? I don’t remember any lyrics but can still she her shaking as she laughed hysterically to the piano music.
Her bun was always falling down because she was perpetually on the move rushing from one school to another, trying to infuse us with a modicum of culture.
If you google “The Laughing Song by George Johnson” you will hear what I believe to be Miss Nell’s song. It is dated 1898 which is probably the year Miss Nell was born.