Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Local music director survives motorcycle accident to conduct end of the year concert

After a serious motorcycle accident left a beloved music director in critical condition, homeschool families and Samaritans raised funds to help him with medical bills and to feed his family.

In early September 2021, Scott Himel of Denton was on his way to teach music to homeschool students when he was involved in a motorcycle accident that left him with a brain injury, fractured eye socket and skull, a shattered knee, and a broken ankle.

Several weeks later, he spoke to his wife for the first time since the accident, not remembering the last two years. Two months later, the doctors already had plans of physical, occupational, and speech therapy to address his brain injury.

After four surgeries, Himel joined the North Texas Homeschool Fine Arts organization as they marched in their first parade. At the City of Richardson’s 49th Annual Christmas Parade in December, he led them in a wheelchair pushed by acting band director, Jason Lord, which is a testament to Himel’s determination to how far he is willing to fight to be with his students.

He returned to leading his students the following semester.

Himel’s fiery passion for teaching inspire his student musicians to obtain their potential. He was able to assess with his amazing listening skill each student’s ability to provide individual direction, then conduct them as ensembles in unison to collectively create beautiful music. He brought heartfelt joy to parents when they saw their children with no to little prior music experience play pieces months later such as “Danse Bohemien” and “Patapan.”

“When Mr. Himel is conducting it’s like he gets into the music. When he tells a flute player to play a certain way it’s different from how he tells a French horn player like me to play. He sees my potential as a French horn player when I can’t and he shows me how to get there,” said Isaiah Paul, 15.

On Tuesday, Himel will conduct the North Texas Home School Fine Arts End of the Year Concert at the Lewisville Grand Theater located at 100 N. Charles Street, Lewisville, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Families and friends will be attending to witness not only how the children learned how to play their instruments beautifully, but to see how Himel came back strong to finish the year successfully.

The North Texas Home School Fine Arts started in the spring 2017 by Michele Stilwell with 12 students. Her vision was sparked when she realized her son’s high school football team needed a marching band. In 2019, Himel joined as the head band director. Under his guidance and with the assistance of board members, Ina Bullard, Julie LaCoste, and Lisa Canfield, the program expanded to 60 students currently actively engaged in band competitions, orchestra, and choir. To learn more about the school, visit ntxfinearts.com.

(Submitted by Maritza R. Paul)

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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