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I transferred from West Texas State University to McMurry College in the Spring of 1974.....it wasn't as if I had much choice, as I had performed dismally the fall semester at WTSU and was told by the university administration that I needed a change of scenery...........

........I had decided to switch my major to Music Education as I had always possessed a keen interest in all things musical.......although I wasn't all THAT good at it..........

.......there was this course offering called Electronic Music (EM for short) that spring that sounded right up my alley......SYNTHESIZERS, wheedoggies!!! ......conjured up visions of Keith Emerson and Walter (before she was Wendy) Carlos......might be real interesting...besides it was being taught by the same professor that was teaching my Remedial Theory class.......

That's where I started my relationship with Dr. Macon Sumerlin (website).  A brilliant and talented man who originally hailed from Roby, Texas and is one of the Southwest's leading  composers.  Dr. Sumerlin had studied Electronic Music with Merrill Ellis one summer at North Texas State University in Denton.  Dr. Ellis purportedly owned the second synthesizer ever built by Robert A. Moog.  Dr. Sumerlin returned to McMurry and ordered an EML ElectroComp Model 100 and a Model 200 for the school.  These were the main machines that we used in school because they were so 'visual' and easy to patch.  The Model 200 had this big master oscillator on it that was really easy to use for waveform and frequency demonstrations.  Well I took to this study like the proverbial fish in water.........what a gas this was!!!......constructing sound from the base elements!!!!  The only drawbacks that I had were that I wasn't much of a composer (remember I was in Remedial Theory at the time) and I couldn't 'tickle the 88's' very well as I had never had keyboard lessons........but those minor details didn't hold me back from learning how to make ALL KINDS OF FUNNY SOUNDS.  In the process, I began to discover that I had a real knack for passing this information on to my colleagues.  When the next year rolled around, I was honored to be asked by Dr. Sumerlin to help with the lab section of the course.  I did this until my graduation in 1978.

Dr. Sumerlin had a Moog Model 10 modular with a separate Sequencer Compliment A (words) in his home studio along with an ARP 2600 (picture).   My friend Charles Dickey also had a Moog Model 15 (flyer), albeit without the extra sequencer, but with updated oscillators.  The Moog was a monster and had this unbelievable filter that could produce some amazing sweeps.  Combined with the sequencer, it was a total music-making machine............except that the oscillators drifted......bad..................but the 2600.......oh-my-gawd it had quite a bit of INTERNAL patch paths already set up and IT STAYED IN TUNE.....mostly.....better than the Moog anyway.......

And thus my love for the 2600 began.  And continues today.  I hadn't touched a synthesizer since May of 1978 until just a few months ago when I had this nagging desire to re-open the only avenue that I had to my more esoterical creative urges...........  Add a 24 year sabbatical from music while I sloshed around the world testing oil wells (band directing wasn't payin' the bills) and you get a man with some means and a big question as to whether he 'still had it'........

..........enter eBay.......what a boon for old synthesists......and a bane for their wives!!!.  I picked up the 2600 off of eBay in October and have since picked up an ARP 1623 sequencer, an ARP Little Brother, and an Oberheim Matrix 12.  The Little Brother came with an added benefit.  The fellow that owned it has been in the EM business for the duration and has been invaluable at steering me in the right direction as far as equipment and EM evolution goes.  I have spent many hours researching and catching up on the technology and still have a LONG way to go.  But you know what?  It sure gives me a nice welcome break from thinking about well tests, oilfield technology, and computers.....even though I STILL don't possess raw compositional talent, nor do I 'tickle the 88s' much better than I did in college (I passed my piano proficiency in 1978 by the skin of my teeth and with much discussion by the sitting profs on just how much I would need to play the piano as a band director).