Professor Ramon Reeberg, Minister of Music at Mother AME Zion Church and vastly influential former Teacher at LaGuardia High School, has died of unknown cause.
The opera singer Laquita Mitchell writes:
Mr. Ramon Reeberg entered LaGuardia Alums a semester after I began High School. Funny, I don’t remember much before he arrived. I feel that my music education began once he arrived. I’m not negating any of my experiences at LaGuardia. But once I began to work with Ramón. I found my voice and then that expanded. Through him I then realized that my voice was important, but more so, I had a right to use it. Where Ms. Jessye Norman planted the seed, Mr. Reeberg helped me to tend to my garden. First there were tapes, then CD’s, videos, then tickets to see amazing singers. But first, there was sight singing, solo voice, women’s chorus, and then his beloved Gospel Chorus. He was bold, demanding, and sometimes brash. But you always knew that he cared and wanted you to do the work. I owe him so much. He prepared me and helped me to attend Westminster Choir College.. yes, I was the first. He attended every recital. He heard me sing through my repertoire before I sang my grad auditions. Cheered me on during competitions. Checked on me as I moved to another state for an apprenticeship. And when I became a professional singer, (he had finally retired) he would get up at the crack of dawn and drive me to JFK airport for international engagements, always an on time pick-up! Hmm…I have so much to be grateful for. He was my stand, whether things were great for me or not so great. He loved in HIS way, a nod, a quick answer, a cursing out (if you deserved it) but it was his way. I’m gonna miss him and I ask that you hold his family and all of his children (there are thousands of us) in your prayers. If you feel so inclined, join me and a few friends tomorrow Wednesday June 17, 7pm on Laquita Mitchell Soprano as we remember this amazing educator, father, and musician.