The Grizzly Growl

Choir Teacher Fight On, Exemplifies Love

Marc+Taylor+directs+the+Tenor%2FBass+Choir+from+2017.
Marc Taylor directs the Tenor/Bass Choir from 2017.

Marc Taylor directs the Tenor/Bass Choir from 2017.

Mandy McAnally

Mandy McAnally

Marc Taylor directs the Tenor/Bass Choir from 2017.

Courtney Morton, Social Media Manager

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This will be the 5th year Mr. Marc Taylor has directed the Copper Hills choir, but he ran into some complications last year that made many question whether students would be seeing him again.

Taylor was diagnosed with cancer and when he received his diagnosis, it took a deafening toll on his personal life and his life at school. “Cancer was not part of the plan,” he says, “…it felt like we were in a movie. It didn’t feel real.” As expected and at times, Taylor had to step away.

Long-term sub Crystal Gilbert and accompanist, Mindy Garff, stepped in to keep a rhythm of the Taylor’s program moving. Both women “… picked up the pieces and made sure that everything ran the way it was supposed to run,” Taylor said.

With Gilbert and Garff in place, little changed, for the most part. Choir went on to receive superior ranks, but the students missed Taylor dearly. Taylor has a ten-year plan that centers on consistency. Because of this plan things were able to continue while he was gone. During this time, the choir program received a lot of help from both the students and several of their parents. Students made sure that they were very productive in class, and the parents pitched in with what they could, including helping with activities and concerts. During his time of struggle, when he was teaching, it was hard for him to be completely himself. “I could not have done it without these important people,” Taylor says.  

Above a door in the choir room, Taylor has the words “Love never fails.” Taylor adopted this motto during his fight with cancer, and it has become the class motto. He lives this motto daily as he continues to show love towards his students. He says, “I know that through the deep physical and emotional pain that I have experienced, I have gained a greater sense of empathy and love. I also know that I will be better able to relate to many of my students that may be dealing with problems in their lives.” Even though Taylor has been through a lot, he continues to see the good in all his students and others he meets.

While Taylor still has more surgeries to go through this school year, he is still able to teach choir and will continue to teach in the years to come. Taylor is planning to stay at Copper Hills until he retires. “Why would I leave my dream job?” he says. “I will also continue some of my musical work and hobbies, work on my home, and spend time with my children and family.” He will continue to inspire many students up until his last year at Copper Hills.

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Choir Teacher Fight On, Exemplifies Love