LISA DUTTON / TOLEDO BLADE Enlarge
William Menacher says his first love was music, but he took career paths away from it until the music began to bring him back.
Mr. Menacher is a partner in a downtown Toledo law firm, but he returns to his Springfield Township home to work in the ever-expanding music-production studio in his basement.
In the last seven months, his songs have won three honorable mention and two finalist places in a monthly song writing contest sponsored by VH1 Save The Music Foundation.
The recognition is gratifying, Mr. Menacher said, "but I'd write songs if I was the only one who ever heard them.''
His love of music started when he was a youngster and hit something of an early peak, as a member of the "Candy Store Syndicate." The band was well-known locally, and when he was about 13 years old, it opened for Ted Nugent at the Toledo Sports Arena.
The music continued through high school and college while he earned a bachelor of arts degree in theater from the University of Toledo in 1976.
He had also expanded into helping create, produce, and perform in original plays and musicals.
He was accepted on the same day to law school and to a graduate program in theater at Northwestern University in Illinois.
Theater won, but he had to sell all of his guitars and other instruments to pay for his education. He left music behind, he said, while he concentrated on his studies and received a master's degree in fine arts from Northwestern.
The degree was a good thing academically, but it sent Mr. Menacher on an often fruitless quest for jobs in a down economy.
"I wanted to teach theater, and I had a degree, but no experience. At that time there were people with 10 to 15 years of experience looking for work.'' he said.
Eventually he entered law school and earned his degree and admission to the bar in 1984.
He settled into the life of a lawyer until 1990 when a friend from the "Candy Store Syndicate" asked if he was interested in joining a Christian music group.
Mr. Menacher jumped at the chance and has been active in "Wings of a Dove" ever since then.
In addition to his work with that group, he has continued to write songs and has had local musicians produce demonstration discs in his basement studio.
He is a self-taught musician, the violin his latest challenge. Because of the nature of the instrument, he'll need formal instruction to become good at it, he said.
As if composing and lawyering aren't enough, he is using part of that master of fine arts degree by working as the lighting director for theater productions of Springfield Local Schools. His wife, Keiran Menacher, is president of the district's board of education.
His recent awards, he said, are welcome because the voting is done by professionals in the music business.
Finalists receive critiques and their compositions are forwarded to record labels, producers, and others in the music industry, Mr. Menacher added.
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