Saturday, March 31, 2012


Tonight, after my 5:00 Mass, I am heading up to Cumberland High School to sing with a group of people I sang with only once since my high school graduation.  That group is the Cumberland High School Clef Singers.  We were a select group of about 25-30 or so from a larger chorus of over 100 that went out and sang at some of the country clubs, the public library, and made some cool trips (for me it was New York City as a junior, and the Virgin Islands as a senior).

Of course, as a chorus, we sang a bit of everything, sacred and secular works by Mozart, Spirituals, medleys by guys like Roger Emerson, etc.  Tonight, we get to revisit that, under the co-direction of Mrs. Nectar Lennox (who I am pictured with here - she hasn't changed a bit), who was my director, and Ms. Susan Alves, who took the reins once Mrs. Lennox retired.  During my senior year, I got to experience both teachers, as Ms. Alves was Mrs. Lennox's student teacher that year in all three music classes I had that year - vocal music, Clef Singers, and music theory.

(Photo taken by my wife Ann, using her phone!)

I for one would spend free periods in Mrs. Lennox's classroom in addition, even if there was no class going on, which in that case I'd diddle on the piano for 40-some minutes till the bell rings.  Sometimes it would be another vocal music class, or perhaps music appreciation (where people would often bring in their own records from home and they get played).

Anyhoo, getting back to this concert: this huge chorus that I am taking part in consists of current Clef Singers and alumni from Clef Singer groups going all the way back to its founding by Mrs. Lennox back in the early 1960's (I was a 1982 graduate).  Below is the program.  The pieces in bold are those I am singing in (we pretty much got grouped by what we sang at the time we attended).

1. Sanctus (W.A. Mozart, from his Requiem)
2. Elijah Rock (arr. by Jester Hairston) (This has one of my favorite bass parts to sing!)
3. O Happy Day (arr. by Edwin Hawkins)
- (our version knocks the Sister Act II version on its hiney!)
4. My Old Kentucky Home (Stephen Foster, arr. by Donald??? Moore)
- (I first heard this song on a record of blooper reenactments by Kermit Schafer.  It was the last line, followed by one of the guys yelling out "OH GOD! WHO GOOSED THAT SOPRANO?!"  The arrangement we'll here tonight, however, is quite beautiful.)
5. Sing Alleluia, Sing (Julie Knowles) (not the one by the Dameans, THANK GOD!)
6. And So It Goes (Billy Joel, arranged by Kirby Shaw)
- (I love Billy Joel's music, and this arrangement is goregous!)
7. Route 66 (Bobby Troup (arranged by Kirby Shaw)
8. Seasons of Love (Jonathan Larson, from Rent)


9. Pick-a-little, Talk-a-little/Goodnight Ladies (Meredith Wilson, from The Music Man)
- (In my high school days, we did "76 Trombones" from that same musical!)
10. Shut de Doh (Randy Stonehill, arranged by Mark Hayes)
- (I got to hear it at rehearsal last night.  Sounds Caribbean.)
11. Home (source unknown - credit is blank here)
12. Rock-a-bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody (Sam Lewis, Joe Young, Jean Schwartz, arr. by Harry Simeone) (My dad used to bellow out this chorus on many a car ride.)
(We rudely interrupt this blog post to bring you this Christus Vincit/iSNARK! public service announcement: I POOTED!)
13. Every Time I Feel the Spirit (arranged by William Dawson)
14. Hallelujah! (G. F. Handel, from Messiah)
- (This and the aforementioned Mozart Sanctus are THE two pieces I can still sing without looking at the score.)
15. If You Believe in Music (Gary Fry)
- (Late in my junior year, John Grenon, then a senior, made All-Eastern Chorus, and brought this piece back with him.  It's been in our repertoire since.)

This will be a fun night, but I shall have it with care, as I am coming up straight from my 5:00 Mass, and I still have three Masses tomorrow morning, the first being at 7:30 AM.

As we all uttered every time we took our bow at the end of every concert we sang:


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