Here we are again for Day 4 of our blog series The 12 Blogs of New Year 2020 and we are back where we were last week by thinking not only about the New Year and the possibilities it holds for our current Chorister cohort, but about those we remember who made our previous times and years what they were. So today is a good old-fashioned New Year's reflection for old times' sake...:
Here comes the song - you know the tune (if you were listing to our Christmas 2019 Concerts!):
"In the 4th Blog of New Year, 'The Phoenix' gave to me: For Auld Lang Syne, Three Hearty Cheers, To All Men an Invite and A Calendar with Dates we can see!"
It's up to you, but if you also wanted to chip in a couple of private refrains of Robert Burns's Ode to the New Year too, then be our guest...! ...Better still, if you are that confident about singing and are a man 18 years or older, then maybe you should really be at our Open Rehearsal tonight (details below and here: https://www.norwichphoenixmvc.org/sing-with-us.html ) or if you can't make it, contact us via our website!
It's been very interesting for us looking back over our membership and rehearsal records over the last 10 years to see the names of our past Members and Accompanists alongside our current Chorister List and the name of our current 'orchestra', Jason Lambert. Over this time, the need for employment, the search for new musical challenges, other ambitions, changing pastimes, family needs and health issues, among other things, have made their enforced amendments to our lists. It is the case that our Membership Roll today and our current performance repertoire has been moulded and shaped by the work, inspiration and input of our past Members and so it is right that we give tribute to them here. In doing so, we can focus upon just two of our number as examples.
Just this very week, we have heard from our friend Keith Webster who had taken a rehearsal sabbatical during our Christmas 2019 rehearsal period. It was Keith who featured in our 'Silent Night' wartime tributes in the last few years by singing the first verse of the carol as a solo in German. Sadly for us, he has decided to take his leave of singing with us in MVC mode, but has exciting plans with his good lady-wife to sing in a choir very local to him. Whilst that Choir's gain is our loss, we are always glad, no matter how sad we might be, where singing is the winner, as it will be here! A huge 'thank you' Keith for all you've done for us and we all wish you well in your new pastime.
And sad news reached us before Christmas in that Tenor 1 Derek Evans, who had only joined our ranks in the Autumn, had passed away following an illness. With us for such a short time, Derek nevertheless left his mark with our rehearsal room front row. From singing with Ralph Reader's London Gang Shows when a Rover Scout, starting the Southend Gang Show, and going on to produce the Southend show over several years, his musical experiences and his jovial friendliness were a perfect match, of which we only saw a brief glimpse sadly. We were therefore very honoured to learn how much he had enjoyed our company in turn and that our Choir logo featured in his final Order of Service and our thoughts have been with his wife, family and wider friends during the time since. We have added our friend Derek to our list of those who have sadly passed away whilst in our Membership, to which in 2019 we had also added Tenor 2 and Eggheads Team Member Chris Hurst.
Time and time again, though, we are reminded that whilst we come across sad times, and have to say a goodbye to some of our friends over time for many reasons, we are encouraged to continue and look forward to our future successes. Whether with us for many years, or just a few weeks, our previous Members have moulded our Choir over our first 10 Years and our current Choristers have the responsibility of doing so for the next Ten and into the future. That is why we look for others to join us at our Open Rehearsals as we continue that work 'for auld lang syne'.
But in doing so, we always remember that our previous Members have lightened the burden because they are letting us stand upon the shoulders of giants.
(t)Witterings from the Choir's Webmaster, The Phoenix, but it's normally about what we are going to be or have been up to, something nice about someone we have sung with, or a gracious reply to one of your own wonderful comments.