I am absolutely heartbroken and devastated hearing about my all time favorite teacher passing away so suddenly.
Mr. Fischer was more than just a teacher to me. He was someone I looked up to, someone who inspired me, and someone who made me have a reason and a purpose in my life with music.
Back in middle school I had a lot of problems with people bullying me and not feeling worth anything and he was always there for me. He was a spectacular teacher, and while of course he was scary mad sometimes - I always knew it was because he cared about his students. At lunch he would always talk to me when he knew I was having problems, and even after school share music and help me out with clarinet. There were so many good memories of the one place I fit into back then, and that I wouldn't have found if not for him.
I was last chair all through middle school back when I played clarinet, and he was the person that pushed me to be better than just what people thought I was or ever could be. Plus summer camp at Wildwood, he made all the difference both as a camper then and as a counselor after high school.
When I was in high school we stayed in touch, beyond just christmas caroling with friends to his house and emails, but even meeting up time to time for coffee to catch up and for guidance on life after high school. And then after high school.
Doug was a great friend, and always inspired me to stay true to myself and what I wanted in life. He used to joke about how he thought/expected me to take over as a director someday - and actively pushed me to be a music major, something I ran away from because of other reasons for a while, and now he'll never be able to see me work towards making my music dreams a reality. That's going to stick with me. It was already enough that he believed I could do any of that. I'm sure as hell not going to give up on any of that now.
He's the reason music became such a huge part of my life. I owe all of it to him. I can't even begin to explain the kind of impact he had on me growing up, and even to this day. Funnily enough I had been thinking to call him these past few days, and I wish I had.
A hero to me.
He's gone fishin' forever ❤