It has been almost a month since the Austin homeschool community suffered a great loss when Kathy Blair was tragically killed on December 6, 2014. A few days before Christmas, she was memorialized by her family, friends, and students, and her absence will be felt for a long time to come. But her legacy will continue in the children she inspired.
Kathy was the director of the Christian Choral Society of Austin for the last 20 years. God gave her the gift of music and it was her mission to share that music with homeschool children through a quality music education program. She didn't just teach children to sing songs, she taught them vocal technique, music theory, genres of classical music, but most importantly she helped mold them into young Christian men and women.
Our family had been part of CCSA for the last 5 years. My three youngest children were practically born into the program. This year I had two children in the Children's Choir, two in the Angel Choir, and a two year old who was happy to sing along with all the choirs!
As homeschool parents we want to expose our children to experiences that are good, true and beautiful. CCSA was one of those opportunities for many of us. Kathy did not just bring music to our lives. She brought beautiful music! She brought music that sings the glory of God. CCSA's tagline was “We'll Sing You to Heaven.” Kathy taught the children that music could be divine worship and it didn't matter where or to whom the children were singing, they were ultimately singing for the Lord and to bring the Lord to others through song. And she did all this in a community that was safe for our children's personalities to develop and blossom.
All her students from the pre-K kids to the high school teens had a deep and profound respect for Kathy. She loved every student and every student loved her. Shudder the thought of getting Miss Kathy's “mommy look.” She made a point of noticing the little things in each of her students. Every semester we would end with an awards ceremony after our nursing home concert. Each child was made to feel special and loved with an award that was unique to him or her. One of my kids received the “Around the World” award because he taught her a new game to use in class. Another got the “1-2 Tie My Shoe” award because she would always want Kathy to tie her shoe. (I secretly think that was a message to me to show my daughter to tie her shoe!)
Kathy was one of the most joyful and passionate people I have ever met. She loved God. She loved music. She loved homeschooling. And she loved all our children. She leaves us with so many memories that not a day has gone by that we don't think of her and pray for the repose of her soul. Just yesterday at the mass of the Feast of Mary Mother of God, the first reading was the Aaronic blessing: "The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace." This was the song with which we ended every rehearsal and concert. And it was the song which ended her memorial service.
Every time we sing, Kathy, we'll sing you to heaven.