The George Bragg Library


. . . from the "Director's Diary"

On the Death of a Friend, Nina Moody Selz (October 1970)

To countless choirboys of the Denton days, Nina Moody Selz represented an abiding presence, a kind of continuum which gave a sense of stability to all that they were undertaking to do, although in truth their very existence was in jeopardy at times. She was ever-present - and still never present - and in the delicate balance of things she was always involved from afar.

As wife of Mr. J. Earl Selz, president of the Pilot Point State Bank, she served proudly and lovingly her community, state and nation through the National Federation of Women's Clubs, the Federation of Music Clubs, and the Texas Boys Choir Board of Trustees and Directors, the latter, longer than any member in the Choir's history – more than twenty years.

She loved children, particularly our choirboys. She praised them, guided them, helped them, loved them and fed them when there was need, and half a chance. She came to love and understand what we were trying to do in and through our Organization, and joined enthusiastically with us in "spreading the word." When the opportunity came for us to move to Fort Worth, she was one of the most ardent promoters of the move, for she immediately saw that we could serve twice as many boys, and as she so aptly said, "We are still training American citizens no matter where you are."

When we held our first Board Meetings in Fort Worth, Mrs. Selz was present. Later, she saw the need and gave to the Texas Boys Choir its first large gift, 125 acres of black farm land southeast of her home in Pilot Point, which is now the basis for a beginning Endowment Fund. Her gift was given with love and with the hope that others would be inspired to do the same.

In her later years, I often sought her counsel by visiting with her in her home in Denton. When I spoke with her about a year ago of our possible program of school visitations, she was overjoyed at the prospect. She observed that in the sharing of culture by children with other children, the greatest transfer of identification would be the result. She knew, for she had been a teacher in her young days. This project became a reality last week with the beginning efforts producing the results she had predicted.

I for one am very grateful that she lived to see the Choir with its hope for a permanent home realized. It was a dream she shared along with many of us for many desperate years.

She gave of herself and of her substance, and the beauty of her gift will be seen in the years ahead as a "beacon" for guiding others to our pursuit of Excellence; her faith will be restated again and again by legions of choirboys; and her hope will continue to rekindle in each of us the unfulfilled goals that we all know have yet to be achieved.

She will be missed as a friend and counselor. She will be remembered as a devoted and beloved member of our family of Boy Choir, and our choirboys, as adopted sons, will sing her praises in years to come by the fact of their very existence.

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