Remembering Rubin Sher

[by Shiela Steinman Wallace, Editor, Community]

In the last issue of Community, we reported that Rubin Sher had died on October 23. I was in Israel at the time, and returned with only a week to pull the November issue together. With our very small staff, I was simply unable to put together a fitting tribute to this musical giant of our community. I was only able to add a little bit to the official obituary.

So this month, I offer this belated – and truly well-deserved – tribute to Rubin Sher.

If I had to choose one word to describe Rubin Sher, it would not be musician, although he was an accomplished violinist with many years of performance with the Louisville Orchestra and other professional ensembles to his credit.

It would not be conductor or director, although he had a long career as both for the orchestra for the Louisville Ballet, the Louisville Youth Orchestra – which he founded – the Floyd County Youth Symphony and the Jewish Community Center Orchestra.

No, the one word I would choose to describe Rubin Sher would be teacher. Early in his career, he taught at Southern Junior High and Manual High School, and from 1963-1986, he taught in the New Albany-Floyd County schools.

But it was more than that. In every position he held, Sher taught and nurtured people, especially young people. He taught many to play string instruments, and many, many more to love and appreciate music. A number of his students went on to make music their careers.

During his tenure at the JCC, Sher presented a wide variety of music and encouraged people to share the joy he felt with each performance.  He was also known for providing up-and-coming musicians the opportunity to shine. Many a young musician enjoyed the spotlight as featured soloist with the orchestra under his baton.

As long as he was able, Sher taught, conducted, performed and shared his love of music, nurturing those around him and creating a legacy – a cadre of musicians – professional and amateur – and music aficionados, who will pass on his love of music for generations to come.
Rubin Sher will be missed.

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