My Teaching Moments

After graduating from University I needed to work and I also wanted to get my American citizenship. So I accepted a teaching position at Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, CT. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. This school’s students were some of the most affluent children in America. I was blown away by the amount of wealth in this little Connecticut town. But I was able to take advantage of my surroundings and got the Headmaster of the school to sponsor my citizenship. From there, I landed a job at a New York City Production Company owned by one of my students’ parents.

So, as much as I was shell-shocked with the standard of living in this area, I’m thankful I was able to capitalize on it when I could.

I enjoyed teaching at Greenwich Country Day for 3 years and made many friends. I still run into my students every so often ... especially on Facebook. It’s always a little disconcerting to hear those words "Hey Mr. Winkler!"

Below is a recording of a Christmas concert at Greenwich Country Day School in 1983. Not many Jews in Greenwich CT. It was quite an eye-opener for me. I, therefore, stuck a Hanukkah song in the concert. I don’t think most of the parents knew what to think of it. Bottom-line, the kids seemed to like it … but it was daring for Greenwich in the early eighties.

There are few boys who at the age of 12 could be called a good singer. Well, Stephen Whitmore was not a good singer, he was an exceptional singer. A boy soprano who to this day I have not heard an equal. It was an honor to have been his music teacher and in this video above, he sings a vocalise by Gabriel Faure. In order to make this a challenge for Stephen, I arranged it so that he had to hit many high notes which even for Joan Sutherland would be treacherous ( an example is the high F above high C at the 3.27 mark). This piece requires almost a 3-octave range and with Stephen’s natural technique and breathing, he makes it look like child’s play.

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Student Teaching in Ann Arbor, MI - 1981

Opening scene from "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." The last musical I directed at Greenwich Country Day School.

I formed "The Greenwich Theater Group" in the summer of 1985 for kids. In the picture to the right are some of my students and Kathi Moss who was one of the leads in the Broadway musical “Nine” (her character sings “Be Italian”).

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Being congratulated by head master at last choral concert performed by the Middle School of The Greenwich Country Day School.

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"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" performed by the Upper School of The Greenwich Country Day School.