Dr. Sells on the ICC’s 30th and Mr. Leck
Dr. Michael Sells, ICC Board Members and 30th Anniversary Committee Chair, shares his thoughts about the anniversary and Mr. Leck.
I first met Henry Leck when I came to assume the position of Dean of the Jordan College of Fine Arts in 1992. I already had known of his reputation even after only six years at the helm of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (ICC), and he was just beginning his work as a part of the College’s Choral Music faculty.
My career-long work as a performer, college professor, and administrator of course did not focus on the musical training of young children, but I always knew how incredibly important that mission was to the health and future of the arts in our society, especially in times of declining formal education in, and exposure to, the arts in our elementary and secondary schools. I believe strongly, even more so today, that if we do not reach young people through quality music (and other arts) at an early age, it is increasingly difficult to do so as they become adults.
So it was a very easy decision for me, as dean, to champion then-president Bannister’s initiative to form the Arts Collaborative at Butler University by helping to provide office space and some administrative support, and to encourage artistic collaboration between and among some of the finest arts organizations in Indianapolis.
What I have seen Henry and his excellent staff do over the years is to reach more and more young people while maintaining high musical standards; a very significant and rare achievement. Beyond this, and perhaps more important, they have changed countless lives.
So, as Henry and the ICC celebrate 30 years in the service of music and the youth of central Indiana, I am very pleased to offer my congratulations and my sincere gratitude!
Dr. Michael Sells
Dean and Professor of Music Emeritus
ICC Board Member