The music world of Greenville is a little quieter this week, and that’s not a good thing. Two long-time musicians in the area, Mike Shankle (78) and Tod Cyrus (90) both passed away on October 4th.
I first met Mike many years ago when I was teaching at Brushy Creek Elementary. At the time Mike was the cantor at Temple of Israel. One of my colleague’s husband was rabbi at the Temple, and she asked me to sing at their High Holy Days for Yom Kippur. Mike was a dedicated member of the Greenville Chorale for as long as he was able, until a stroke and other health problems. He was predeceased by his wife, Marjorie, and is survived by his four daughters.
When I began my interim choir director job at Fourth Presbyterian in 2005, Tod Cyrus was one of the choir’s most dedicated members. At the age of 90, he was still climbing the steep steps into the choir loft with the aid of his cane. After every choir rehearsal and service he had kind words for me. Tod had a degree in Music Education and had played in a variety of big bands. In the 1980’s he hosted his own radio show featuring big band music. He had been a member of the Greenville Symphony, and was still actively playing with various groups fairly recently.
Both of these musicians will be missed.