An ‘im­mea­sur­able’ legacy

Hants County mu­sic com­mu­nity mourn­ing loss of in­spi­ra­tional Avon View teacher

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS - BY CA­ROLE MOR­RIS-UNDERHILL WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA

Ted Woundy had a gift for bring­ing out the mu­sic in ev­ery­one.

The 43-year-old Mount Den­son res­i­dent was a men­tor, a ded­i­cated mu­sic ed­u­ca­tor who in­spired count­less stu­dents to pur­sue their dreams.

And this week, the com­mu­nity is in mourn­ing as news spread about his death on Nov. 7.

“The legacy that he’s left, the gift that he’s left our area, is im­mea­sur­able,” said Josh Noiles, a for­mer stu­dent of Woundy’s.

Noiles, a Brook­lyn res­i­dent and lo­cal funeral di­rec­tor who is a mem­ber of the Tony Wood Trio, credits Woundy with not only en­cour­ag­ing him to play mu­sic, but for dis­cov­er­ing his pas­sion for per­cus­sion.

“I wanted to join the school jazz band,” re­called Noiles of his high school years in Windsor.

Since he played the trom­bone in the school band, he as­sumed that would be the in­stru­ment of choice when he per­formed with the jazz band.

How­ever, there was an open­ing for a drum­mer — and Woundy, who heard Noiles had a sec­ond­hand kit at home, en­cour­aged him to try out. At the time, Noiles was un­sure as he had never even sat be­hind the drum kit be­fore.

“He said ‘Josh, you’ve got the rhythm; I think you could pick it up and I’ll help you.’ For what­ever rea­son, he be­lieved in me and en­cour­aged me,” said Noiles.

“He never even bat­ted an eye. He was con­fi­dent right from the get-go. He said ‘you’ll be the drum­mer for the jazz band, I know it.’ And I had no train­ing at all — I’d never taken a drum les­son in my life,” Noiles said.

But Woundy gave him some point­ers and over the course of the year, Noiles was com­fort­able and con­fi­dent be­hind the drums. He played with mul­ti­ple bands since grad­u­at­ing from high school in 2005 — and says drums are now his pre­ferred in­stru­ment of choice.

“To whom do I owe what I have now? I think look­ing back, Mr. Woundy would be at the top of the list,” said Noiles.

A life of giv­ing

Ed­ward Wil­liam ‘Ted’ Woundy’s obit­u­ary in­di­cated he loved mu­sic — both play­ing and lis­ten­ing — and he had a “ter­ri­ble af­flic­tion with Bon Jovi,” but friends and fam­ily loved to hear him sing Bed of Roses.

Woundy was a for­mer vo­cal­ist for Short No­tice, and in re­cent years, per­formed at many lo­cal venues. He leaves be­hind his wife, Sonja, and daugh­ter, Car­men.

Woundy taught at Avon View High School in Windsor and over the years, in­spired count­less peo­ple to pick up an in­stru­ment.

Ryan McGinn, of Windsor, counts him­self lucky to have known — and to have been men­tored by — Woundy.

McGinn at­tended Avon View High School for Grades 10-12 and spent much time with Woundy, whether dur­ing reg­u­lar band class, dur­ing gui­tar class or vis­it­ing the mu­sic room over the lunch-hour.

“He re­ally, re­ally en­cour­aged me to take on other in­stru­ments, to be the best mu­si­cian I could pos­si­bly be. When I was first start­ing to play mu­sic se­ri­ously in a band, he was very en­cour­ag­ing of it, very sup­port­ive of it and he re­ally did what he could as a teacher to help me learn more,” said McGinn.

“I play sax­o­phone, which is what I took in mu­sic, but I also play gui­tar, drums and pi­ano. A lot of that I would not know how to play if he didn’t let me bor­row in­stru­ments or go in the mu­sic room dur­ing lunch to play mu­sic,” he con­tin­ued.

“He re­ally saw how ded­i­cated I was and he re­ally tried to do what he could with that.”

McGinn said Woundy ra­di­ated a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude. He treated his stu­dents with re­spect and gen­uinely wanted to see them suc­ceed.

“He was just an awe­some guy to be around. It was never dull to be in his class. He al­ways made it en­ter­tain­ing. He was al­ways up­beat and crack­ing jokes,” said McGinn.

And he was al­ways push­ing them to learn more by giv­ing them chal­leng­ing as­sign­ments.

“I lis­tened to a lot of heavy metal and punk rock and I wouldn’t re­ally lis­ten to some other gen­res… he pushed that onto us and it re­ally broad­ened my hori­zon of mu­sic grow­ing up.”

McGinn, who played with Gen­er­a­tion Idiot through­out high school and col­lege, con­tin­ues to per­form and be in­volved in the mu­sic scene.

“I would not be the mu­si­cian I am to­day with­out Mr. Woundy.”

Jake Smith, owner of Moe’s Mu­sic School, said Woundy’s pass­ing has im­pacted count­less stu­dents and mu­si­cians.

“When you first saw Ted, he looked like a rock star. I think that was in­spi­ra­tional to a lot of up-and-com­ing mu­si­cians,’ said Smith, sit­ting on a stool in­side one of the pri­vate les­son rooms at the mu­sic school.

“He just in­spired stu­dents. He was so sup­port­ive of ev­ery­thing that stu­dents were do­ing mu­si­cally in school and out of school, whether they were out play­ing shows or com­ing here for lessons and record­ing.”

He said a num­ber of cur­rent and for­mer stu­dents were heart­bro­ken upon hear­ing the news of Woundy’s death.

One of Smith’s fon­d­est mem­o­ries of Woundy per­haps best sums up what he was all about. One night, dur­ing rock and roll boot camp at the school, Woundy was pass­ing by and de­cided to pop in.

“He came in and sang a cou­ple of songs with the band that was play­ing. What was re­ally cool was some of the stu­dents were go­ing to have him the fol­low­ing year,” said Smith. “It was such a great way for new stu­dents to meet their new mu­sic teacher. It was awe­some. He was so great with the kids and the kids loved it. They had a good time.”

A cel­e­bra­tion of Woundy’s life was held Nov. 16 from 4-8 p.m. in the up­per level of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion, Hants County branch 009, 35 Em­pire Lane, in Windsor. Guests were in­vited to bring an acous­tic gui­tar for the cel­e­bra­tion.

In lieu of flow­ers, the fam­ily has asked that peo­ple take the time to sup­port young mu­si­cians.

To ex­press con­do­lences to the fam­ily, visit: www.de­mont­fam­i­ly­fu­ner­al­home.ca.

CON­TRIBUTED

Ted Woundy loved mu­sic — whether it was lis­ten­ing or play­ing — and in­spired count­less lo­cals to pick up an in­stru­ment.

CON­TRIBUTED

Josh Noiles grad­u­ated from Avon View High School in 2005. Dur­ing the last band con­cert, mu­sic teacher Ted Woundy was pre­sented with a signed t-shirt, fea­tur­ing the sig­na­tures of all the young mu­si­cians he had helped that year. Noiles credits Woundy for in­spir­ing him to learn how to play the drums.

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