JOHN BLAKELOCK

John Blakelock came to singing late in life. At age 38, his piano teacher noticed he was a tenor and wrangled him into singing with a Lutheran choir at a church where she was an organist. This led to a 20 year period of church singing and barbershop, which he ultimately found unsatisfying -- even frustrating. An ad in the Yellow Springs News led John to The HardTackers. Here he found a body of songs as inspiring to him as Negro Spirituals--a repertoire based on a history of indentured servitude and the oppression of a persecuted people (in this case, the Irish.)

John holds an MS degree in Biology, and worked a number of years in wetland restoration and in microbiology, isolating and growing large batches of uni-algal cultures of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). The epidemic of toxic algal blooms was caused by global warming and nutrient pollution. These algae were "farmed" so that their toxins could be extracted to be used as laboratory standards for drinking water and recreational reservoir analysis.

He is a multi-media performance artist who loves gardening and erecting stone masonry, and still works doing landscaping and substitute teaching in all grades and all subjects in Yellow Springs schools.


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