IN MEMORIAM: James Sadewhite By Hezi Aris

eHezi Archives 8 Comments

Sadewhite_Maestro James - conductingToday I learned of the passing of one of the most empathic men I have ever met. A great man. A cultured man. He was kind hearted, always found a good word for others who may not have always deserved being addressed with such kindness, but the bar of
generosity of his heart, mind and soul eclipsed most I have met. He was a learned man with insight few would ever come to know. He touched all who would come to meet him. He generously shared his broad educational scope and reference points with everyone. He was a teacher in its most stellar definition. Anecdotes and musical reference would and did eclipse the political decay all about him. He persevered despite the naysayers. His vision was full and attainable and grand; perhaps too big for Yonkers, but he would not hear of it.

His passing leaves a vacuum and defuses the kindness he filled in the ether of life. He found joy in the simplest things yet gave expression to the most complex concepts because he learned joy and reveled in the seemingly mundane which permitted him to elevate himself to a pedestal upon which he would not step to alight. Unbeknown to him, everyone who has met him knew he belonged on a higher plane. He was not absorbed with the notoriety. He was consumed to bring life to the musically starved. Those more familiar with him learned
through his patience and knowledge by which he built bridges of understanding and almost childish delight in spending time with him.

He afforded me the greatest of honor by spending time with me in promoting the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra and the music experience he brought forward. By his side he spoke of the perfect pitch of the Chinese whose expression in the dialects spoken are demanded to use pitch to give expression to the different meanings
of the same word. It was such insight that I will never forget and I sincerely thank him for sharing these nuggets of knowledge with listeners on the Westchester On the Level radio program.

Maestro James Sadewhite was scheduled to spend two hours on the Friday, October 25,
2013, program, which he could not attend. He knew of his pending end.

I remember hearing from him about two months ago. I asked if there was a problem and he said there was none. He wanted to share a meal. A simple gesture that brought me great delight. Soon after our talk I learned of his needing attention in hospital. I could never have imagined his untimely demise.

James Sadewhite left a legacy of accomplishment through his work and a plan toward accomplishing
those grand ends.

All Yonkersites will miss him. He touched everyone, directly or through an ancillary mode.

Memory of Maestro James Sadewhite will forever reside in my heart and mind for as long as my maker allows me to be clear of mind.

Goodbye Maestro. Safe journey! I will dearly miss you as will the City of Yonkers. You infused “gracious” into the vision of the city. Thank you.

eHeziIN MEMORIAM: James Sadewhite By Hezi Aris

Comments 8

  1. I played in the Manhattan School of Music PreCollege on French Horn from 1993 to 1995. He was my first “real conductor” at the age of 15. My beloved father Leo, also passed away at a young age. We were both so fond of Maestro Sadewhite. Certainly, he is hearing some beautiful music with the angels in Heaven. May he rest in peace and continue his legacy through the warmth and good spirit of others.

  2. Jim and I were teaching colleagues for 30 years. We shared our love for humor and he was always there to bring me a smile even on a gray day. Jim was a master of computers in the class room when they first were being introduced. He would often write programs for me to use with my students. Jim was brilliant and astute but most of all he was one of the kindest people I had ever known.

  3. It with deep sadness that I read of Jim’s passing. I performed many operas under his direction with the State Repertory Opera, and those were some of the happiest moments of my life. He brought amazing results from a mostly amateur company, and the repertoire ranged from Mozart to Carlisle Floyd, and included unfamiliar operas by Flotow and Nicolai-his enthusiasm and professionalism made every performance an event. I also heard many superb performances he led with the Irvington (N.J.) Symphony, once again getting professional results from a community ensemble. When I brought a young piano student of mine to hear a performance of Mozart’s “Exsultate Jubilate” and told him the boy called “ex all hot tay double latte”, he roared with laughter! He was more than a great musician, he was a mensch!

  4. I will always remember with great warmth my times in Maestro Sadewhite’s orchestra; his jolly disposition and the desire to bring out the best from his students. My very first Tchaikovsky violin concerto was played with him on the podium, and I remember that he accompanied me with wonderful attention to detail, giving me as much liberty and freedom as any soloist could desire. He will be remembered with fondness and affection by all those whose lives he touched and orchestras from Yonkers to MSM will greatly miss his immense spirit. RIP.

  5. I learned of Jim’s death after today’s concert.
    I am numb and speechless. Our talk not long ago has become more enlightened. He gave no indication of any health problems and I now regret not following up on his invitation for dinner. Yonkers and Westchester is a lot lonelier place today.

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