Aaron Copland visited FSU for a week in 1979. He visited music classes by day and there were performances of his music each night. One night it was the symphony, then opera, then the other groups. I spoke with him on the phone at his hotel. That's when he agreed to pose for a portrait and informed me that he would not wear tails. I was set up on the stage at RDA when Charlotte Krebiel accompanied him to me. The background is the set of his opera The Tenderland that was playing that night.

It was only my second portrait and I needed moral support from my friend Victor Roman to make sure I was using my lighting system right and getting all the adjustments on the camera right. Mr. Copland also informed me that he was not going to sit on one of the hay bales that were part of the set. So I posed him on a stool and when he sat on it and folded his arms I thought he looked regal. After a couple of exposures of him looking into the camera I asked if he would turn for a profile. He said he wouldn't pose for a profile and turned his head to show me why. What a probiscus. He didn't need to say any more. After a couple more shots he was gone.

I went to the performance with the student symphony and got to enjoy watching and hearing him conduct Fanfare For The Common Man, Appalachian Spring, Rodeo, and others of his famous works. It was quite a thrill.

Later I sent him two 16X 20's, one to keep and one to autograph and return. I still have the packaging somewhere because he wrote my name and address as well as his on it. The portrait was unveiled at an 80th birthday tribute to him at the Royal Symphony Hall in London.

Many years later a biographer found my name in the Library of Congress where Mr. Copland donated his papers, including my correspondence with him.