Coach Mo carries on passion for music

Coach and theology teacher are just a few titles that apply to Mr. John Morris. However, among his less noticeable ones, he is also an experienced musician.

While attending St. Louis University as a freshman, Mr. Morris found he had free time on his hands and decided to pick up the guitar. After teaching himself to play, he began performing church music for the college chapel. His musical career began to escalate as he found more opportunities to perform.

“I’ve played all the way up from coffee houses to college concert halls at St. Louis University” Mr. Morris said.

He has also played at several outdoor venues, such as the Kansas City Irish Festival. His favorite genres to play include Irish, sixties, seventies, eighties, folk pop, and country rock. Altogether, he plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin, and a little bit of piano.

After he graduated from St. Louis University, Mr. Morris was a musician for three years before becoming a teacher. He performed part time on his own, and played with a group on the weekends.

“I decided to get a real job” Mr. Morris said.

Since then, Mr. Morris has found ways to incorporate his music into Rockhurst. He has performed at events such as Irish Night, the Multi-Ethnic mass and lunch, and even the Carlitos Battle of the Bands, alongside computer education teacher, Mr. John McEniry.

“Every time I play, it’s a good time. It’s fun,” Mr. Morris said. “People tend to enjoy it; I see a lot of happy faces”

He also says performing music has improved his ability to teach.

“I don’t think I’d ever have been the type of teacher that I am now if I hadn’t gotten on stage and performed for years before I started.” Mr. Morris said. “It helped me be a better teacher, since I’m used to being in front of people. That’s a big part of teaching, learning how to do that.”

Today, among his responsibilities at Rockhurst, Mr. Morris finds little time for music. But he does still manage to perform occasionally, often accompanied by his brother and some of his old friends.

“It’s good to have something else other than teaching and coaching” Mr. Morris said.

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