Marching through time with few rests
An Adams County man has found the key to living a long, prosperous life through the sounds of music.
Robert "Bob" March of Clayton, Illinois turned 86-years-old last month.
He's spent the last 74 years of his life playing the piano at churches, schools, community events and beyond.
"I began playing for fun," he explained. "My mother taught me to play, and I played before I could read. I just feel like I've been going forever."
Life hasn't always been a musical masterpiece for Bob. He served in the Korean War before returning to the Quincy area more than 60 years ago. He used the GI bill to receive degrees in music education from Culver-Stockton College and the University of Illinois. He's been playing and teaching ever since.
March taught QND Choral Director and St. Peter Parish music director Monica Scholz when she was in school at Camp Point.
"My dad used to joke that he came to our concerts just to hear Mr. March play piano," Scholz explained. "We were so lucky to have that because in our tiny school, we didn't have an accompanist. I remember wanting to play like Bob March. I loved to sing."
"I've been all over different countries," he explained.
March said music has helped him speak everyone's language.
"I've never met anyone that I didn't like when I got to know them," he said. "Music is a universal language. Regardless of where I was, I met people, and they all liked music."
Scholz says March can teach everyone something even if they can't read, play or sing music.
"Take your gift, and use it to improve your community and make people happy. That's what Bob March has done," Scholz said
"One thing I think we need to learn is that we are all connected in all our species. Our DNA proves that we should all be able to get along together because we're all from one. Everybody is very human. I don't care what species they are or what color they are.That's one thing we do need to learn to get along. We need to learn love. And that will take care of everything," March said.
You can hear March play the piano at the First Christian Church in Quincy.
You also can hear him play occasionally for area nursing homes, musical contests and local service organizations.