S3:E9 | Charlie Pagnard

October 13, 2020

The Impact of a Cracked Pot

For 43 years, Charlie Pagnard has faithfully instructed students in trumpet, music, band, and orchestra.  His investment in their lives has gone far beyond music to include walking with them in the day-to-day decisions of faith. But for Charlie, that he’s had any impact for Jesus at all is a miracle in itself.

Charlie made his decision to trust Jesus at a revival when he was 12. But by high school, he had drifted from his commitment to Christ. He prospered in his skill at trumpet, earning a full-ride scholarship at Bowling Green State University. The drift continued as he joined a rock band that opened for such well-known 60s acts as the Carpenters, Three Dog Night, and Gladys Knight and the Pips.

After giving birth to their first son, his wife, Elaine, confronted Charlie about giving up the touring life. Under the Lord’s strong compulsion, he left the band and pursued a career in music education, which eventually led him to Cedarville. He has never looked back.

Although he is an accomplished musician in his own right, his greatest accomplishments have been the spiritual impact Elaine and he have had on their two sons, Charles, Jr., and Christian; their five grandchildren; and the lives of countless students.

“I am so humbled to look back at how things could have gone,” he said. “My decisions early on should have ended up in ruin. I shouldn’t have had the wonderful marriage I have now or have the two sons I have. I was so reckless at the beginning. In many ways, I’m such a crackpot, and also a cracked pot.”

Charlie has played with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Opera Orchestra of the Virgin Islands, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and serves as principal trumpet for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and first trumpet for the award-winning Carillon Brass.

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