Bass Trombonist Douglas Yeo was born in Monterey, California, and grew up in Valley Stream, New York (where he began playing the trombone at the age of nine) and Oak Ridge, New Jersey (where he graduated from Jefferson Township High School in 1973). Before joining the Boston Symphony Orchestra/Boston Pops Orchestra in May 1985, he was a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 1981-1985 and he was on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He holds a bachelor of music degree with honor from Wheaton College in Illinois and a master of arts degree from New York University. His principal teachers were Edward Kleinhammer and Keith Brown. Before embarking on his orchestral career, Mr. Yeo held varied posts including two years at the National Office of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith in New York City and a year as Secretary to the Assistant Director of Admissions at New York University Law School. His broad based musical background has included two years as a high school band director, a four-year tenure with the Goldman Band, and performances with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, the Gerry Mulligan Big Band, and orchestras for numerous Broadway shows. In addition to playing the bass trombone, he plays the bass trumpet, contrabass trombone, serpent and ophicleide when called for in the orchestra. In 1998, he was named Music Director of The New England Brass Band which has released two compact disc recordings under his direction, Christmas Joy! (1999) and Honour and Glory (2001).
Five months ago I knew nothing about the Internet or its well-known graphical interface, the WorldWide Web (WWW).
The use of my Macintosh home computer was limited to writing articles and letters, arranging music, keeping track of my teaching schedule, preparing my income taxes and various other mundane tasks.
Today I coordinate Leadership U.'s Music Division, am regularly in contact with people who have visited my homepage, and am writing and formatting articles in html (hypertext markup language), the computer language of the Web. How did this transformation take place? It was simply that a friend explained an idea, I caught his vision and, as Abraham, Jacob, Moses and Samuel all said, I answered, "Hineni"Here I am.
I first heard of Leadership U. in a copy of Campus Alert , a quarterly publication of Christian Leadership Ministries (CLM). An article explained at length about a new resource on the Web designed to provide both high quality information and encouragement instantly to Christian professors and students, while at the same time exposing non-Christians to a resource base of thousands of articles, drawings, photographs and materialsall from an informed Christian worldview.
A short time later, my friend Stan Oakes, National Director of CLM, visited Boston and we spent an afternoon walking around the Boston Public Garden as I asked him questions about Christian Leadership's "virtual campus" on the Internet called "Leadership U." As he explained it to me, I began to realize the remarkable potential this resource had for impacting the world for Christ. I had only one problem: since I was not "online," Leadership University simply existed somewhere out there in cyberspace, completely out of my reach. It sounded exciting, but wasn't it complicated? I didn't have a Ph.D. from MITI was a trombone player in a symphony orchestra. I didn't know a modem from a commode.
As our conversation moved from the Public Garden to Stan's hotel room, Leadership University moved from theory to reality. In about two minutes, Stan pulled his portable computer out of the case, plugged in his modem,
and in all its full-color glory, Leadership U. was there before me. I was startled to see how simple it was to "access" the Web, and even more surprised to find how easy it was to navigate through the various resources available. Articles, annotated bibliographies, charts and graphs were instantly at my fingertips. Rapidly, my doubts disappeared. I knew then I had to be part of this exciting new venture.
I looked out Stan's hotel room window across the Charles River to Harvard University. I realized that Leadership University represented an opportunity to restore Harvard's motto "Veritas" (Truth) to its original form. While officially altered years ago, the motto can still be seen on gates and arches on campus:"Veritas Pro Christo et Ecclesia" (Truth for Christ and the Church). I thought of the students and professors there and at other universities around the world who needed the Truth that will set them free.
As Father Richard John Neuhaus has said, "Freedom that is not grounded in Truth is built on the shifting sands of fashionable opinion and brute power." The vision of Leadership University is to bring resources shaped by Truth to students and faculty around the world in a matter of minutes. Here, before my eyes, I saw it happening. When Stan asked if I would be willing to help develop the Fine Arts department at LU, I said, "Here I am." But I knew I would need help.
Help was easy to find. Being on the faculty at Boston University, I discovered that I (as well as faculty, students and staff at most colleges and universities) was entitled to a free email (electronic mail) address, free Internet service connection and free computer software to make it all possible. After 20 minutes at the Boston University Personal Computing Service Center, Ihad disks and manuals in my hand and a working knowledge of what I had to do. I ordered a 28.8 bps modem from a well-known mail-order computer warehouse, and, thanks to overnight delivery, I was "surfing the Web" the next day.
The exciting benefits began immediately. I let a few friends know my new email (electronic mail) address and suddenly I was corresponding with people from around the world. Messages to and from Japan, Israel and France, as well as from coast to coast here in the U.S.A., began flashing through my telephone wiresat no cost except for the (free) local call to Boston University's computer server. Using Netscape, the free Internet browser provided me by BU, I accessed Leadership University and explored everything Stan had shown me and even more. Other Christian Web sites were immediately at my dis posal as well as up-to-date weather; newspapers and magazines; music resources; detailed, professional material in every academic discipline; and access to more information than I ever dreamed of.
Keith Seabourn, who heads up the Christian Leadership Ministries WWW project, contacted me concerning the development of my homepage at Leadership U. We designed my site to be of particular interest to aspiring orchestral musicians and college music faculty, so I prepared various pedagogical materials and reworked several articles I had previously published. We developed a unique audio-visual resource called "The Bass Trombonist's Orchestral Handbook" in which viewers can see music used at orchestral trombone auditions along with my annotations and audio clips of me playing the same music.
In addition, I added an article that outlined my testimony of faith, and I integrated my Christian worldview into various other resources when appropriate. I sent all my material to Keith via email (I really am buying fewer stamps these days!) and in a few weeks, I was telling friends and colleagues how they could check out my site on the Web.
What is exciting now is seeing how God is using all of this. Through an email function tied to my homepage, students and professors from colleges and universities are contacting me with questions about my articles and asking for information about where they can learn more about the Christian faith. Christian students are writing to tell me how the material at Leadership U. has been both a help and an encouragement to them. And now I am enjoying recruiting other artists, teachers and performers to join the "faculty" at Leadership U. The financial cost to each individual to become a part of this rapidly growing "virtual university?" Absolutely nothing.
Christian Leadership Ministries is working with financial partners to secure funding to ultimately have 100,000 articles in all academic disciplines online in the next few years.
Involvement with Leadership U. is a no-lose proposition. The Internet is the future nowproviding immediate access to millions of resources; if you're not involved with it, you're missing out on the cutting edge of communication technology. Faculty involved with LU receive immediate exposure of their ideas and high visibility in this exciting new medium. Because of the ability of the Web to provide hyperlinks (instant referrals to other sites on the Web), my homepage links with various others to provide "Web-surfers" with even more information. Other Web sites provide links to my homepage. With the ability to make changes to LU very quickly, material remains up-to-date. CLM is dedicated to providing the very best information to students and professors, and to defend the Gospel anywhere in the world in less than five minutes.
The Internet is far from intimidating. Rather, it is a remarkably friendly medium in which users can find their way around easily in the privacy of their office or home, or even from a hotel room while on the road. Leadership University has become a very important part of my life each day as I have contact with people who want to know more about both my work in academia and the Lord who rules my life.
When I recruit others to join in the LU project, I simply remember how the idea sold itself to me as soon as Stan Oakes turned on his computer. All I need to do is show someone how it works and in minutes they want to be a part of it.
I am convinced that LU, thanks to the extraordinary vision and hard work of the staff of Christian Leadership Ministries and their financial partners around the world, will be a major force in the completion of Jesus' great commission. When someone asks, all you have to do is say "Here I am" to become part of this important new venture.