Dec 12

Marvin Hamlisch, Mina Kulber and Me

That musical giant and a giant of a man… Marvin Hamlisch has passed. What more can be said that hasn’t been written already (and so heartfelt). Nor what can be written about what a great loss this (is) (will be) to us all. On a professional note what composer doesn’t aspire to like Marvin Hamlisch. But, it’s like those little Russian Matuska Dolls sitting, staring from across the room. (Near the 9 Ft Turn of the Century Grand Piano which Marvin would have loved to play). The Matuskas are a doll-within-a-doll-within-a-doll-within-a-doll? They remind one that it would take many lifetimes for someone to even become a “Mini-Mini-Mini-Mini-Me of Marvin Hamlisch”!

As for becoming like Hamlisch-the-Mensch… Marvin-as-Mentor still inspires. One learns more and more as heartfelt comments are posted on the late composer’s website. (To which we again add our condolences; sending out prayers to his family).

Now about Marvin, Mina and me. All of us shared a love of all things-melodic and for all audiences who loved melodic music; including an audience of one… a little lady whom we all called “Aunt”… the late Mina Kulber. She was this tiny-but-big-in-stature-teacher and a mentor-to-many. From the moment one met her… she “felt like family”. And that included Marvin, too. As for Mina; once introduced to him she not only had the heart of Hamlisch but she also had his ear. We know because Mina told us so. When she mentioned that “Marvin didn’t forget owing Dennis Chandler one” (a promised jam session)… she shared she was going to set up “A Salon in Solon” (where we live). She wanted him to hear “what Hamlisch hath wroth. Melodic music inspired by MENTOR MARVIN!” We were looking forward to the happening when sadly Mina passed away.

Now dear Marvin has passed. Why do we wait to do the things we must? Why do we wait to say the things we must? Well, now with Cyberspace, “Maybe Someday” is today. Here we honor Giant Hamlisch & Tiny Miz Mina. What Lights. Thank you for the motivation, Mina. Thank you for the music, Marvin.

About the Playhouse Square benefit program pictured here from ’75. That’s when Den got to be Marvin’s “opening act”, well, sort of. It was at the first big benefit there; the Pre-Concert Party that his “Dennis Chandler Band” got to play. That BIG benefit? It was “An Evening with Marvin Hamlisch”. Marvin graciously gave of his time and talent to come toCleveland to raise funds for the restoration of our great Palace Theatre. As a volunteer there I got to see these two “play the Palace” together, sort of.

Seriously, those times will never be again. Sadly, that music will never be again. But, we go on. We reach up standing on the shoulders of a GIANT. Until we meet again, may the Conductor allow “Mentor Marvin” now “Angel Marvin” to keep inspiring those of us still down here… until we go Up.? What a Light.

Signed, Liz Chandler, Web Writer