Musician Bauer disproves a popular theory
Despite a well-known theory to the contrary, Theresa Bauer says you can go home again.
Following a 15-year absence, Bauer, now 54, did just that about six months ago after living in New Albany those 15 years. She moved to New Albany in the first place not to get away from her hometown but to cut the drive by some 20 miles to Hanover College where she taught music.
‘That was a long drive from here,’ she said, adding reflectively. ‘But I got to teach kids from all over the world.’
Now, the music program has been cut from the budget, so Bauer returned home. She still teaches budding musicians at the church where she works, St. Paul’s Episcopal in New Albany. She has about 30 students.
She knows church music well.
‘I used to practice on the pipe organ at the Corydon Presbyterian Church; my first piano came from Conrad’s; all of my Easter clothes came from Griffin’s,’ she recalled. ‘That’s what’s neat about this place. The names have changed, but the buildings are the same. I find that refreshing.’
The Corydon United Methodist Church is another familiar, historic site that Bauer knows well. ‘That’s where I had my first piano recital. I was about eight years old; Grace Mae Sample ‘ she taught so many people around here ‘ had zillions of students, so many kids.
‘I was in the church the other day. It looks different now, but it looks real nice,’ she said of the recently renovated building.
Piano ultimately became Bauer’s lifeline. She holds a degree in piano pedagogy from Spalding University’s Bardstown, Ky., campus.
‘If it’s music, I do it,’ she said. ‘I play; I direct; I work with children. Everything music, I do.’
She bought a house and a half-acre when she returned, on S.R. 337 just outside Corydon’s town limits. ‘I can still hear the band play,’ she said, referring to the Vanguard at Corydon Central High School.
‘One of my grade school friends lives around the corner,’ Bauer said. ‘I’ve seen several of those lately; those are the ones that say, ‘Why did you move back here?’
‘You never realize how good you have it until you don’t have it anymore.
‘I hadn’t even moved in yet and I was talking to a person about getting water service in my name. She said, ‘Oh, yes. You used to live on Harrison Drive.’ She remembered me. That makes me feel back home. In New Albany, I didn’t even know my neighbors.’
Today, Corydon has much more to offer than it did before she left, Bauer said. ‘All these restaurants. We have Chinese, Mexican, all these things you never thought you would see in Corydon
‘We used to have to go to Clarksville just to go to McDonald’s.’
Now that she has a garden spot, Bauer said one of her goals is to become a ‘master gardener.’ She’s taken about 23 hours of the 36-hour gardening course from the Purdue Extension Service.
Although she’s still in the midst of house painting, she’s gearing for spring planting. ‘I’m not gardening yet, but I have 36 hours of class work, from vegetables to flowers. I’m now doing soil testing.’
And she’s looking forward to this year’s county fair.
‘When I lived here before, I entered knitting items in the Open Class and won ribbons every year. The fair is not such a big deal in Floyd County, and I have missed the fun.’
She’s also teaching bells to children’s groups and planning to adopt a cause to work on, perhaps something involving animals.
‘I think I’ll jump on getting that animal shelter,’ she said, noting how many years the proposed facility has been debated. ‘It’s kind of like the Louisville bridge.’
She was involved in the recently completed animal facility in New Albany. ‘I was in New Albany when they were working on it. It has made a big difference. You don’t have stray animals running all over town,’ she said. ‘The old (shelter) was the pits. It was a ramshackle building that couldn’t hold much of anything.
‘Now they have a very modern, beautiful place that’s doing a lot to help homeless animals get homes; it gets them off the street.
‘I have two passions,’ Bauer said. ‘Children and animals.
‘I am committed and passionate about whatever I do.’
She has no children of her own, but she has cats, lots of cats. ‘More than I want to admit to, but they’re all well cared for and loved.’
She is a member of the Floyd County Animal Rescue League.
Bauer continues to sing with the Louisville Bach Society, which she joined in 1974. The conductor was her organ instructor at the University of Louisville, where she earned a master’s degree in organ performance and church music. She has performed several solo recitals in the area through the years.
She will sing alto at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church on Lexington Road on Sunday at 3 p.m. for the group’s performance of the Mass in B Minor by Bach.
Bauer is a Corydon native. She is the daughter of Elnora (Bube) Dowell of Corydon and Richard Bube, who died about 10 years ago. She has two brothers, Richard and Jim Bube.