This morning, riding on the train from the suburbs into the city, my fellow passengers were slightly startled to see a 54 year old man chuckling, while tears were streaming down his face as he was reading his Blackberry, logged onto the blog thoughtfully provided by your children. The memories shared by all of your disciples brought back plenty of my own, all of them happy, proud, even joyous days singing under your tutelage.
For me, getting selected for the Glee Club my freshman year was one of my crowning achievements that year. I remember so well meeting you for my audition, racing through the scales, butchering the sight reading but somehow pulling through, in that wonderful Hendrie Hall space with the oil portrait of Barty and all of the exotic posters on the wall from Glee Club Tours from around the world. I imagined the places I’d see with my new Clubmates; little did I know that my first tour was in December to
Joining your group was also my first connection that I had joined a company of like-minded scholar-singers, with a responsibility to a legacy to be upheld and burnished. We were truly Yale’s ambassadors around the country and around the world, and through your leadership I immediately sensed that responsibility and was proud to be a part of that.
I wasn’t one of your strongest singers. I struggled through some of the more esoteric pieces, straining to hit some of those impossibly high notes for my range, fighting through some of the more dissonant harmonies, holding onto those last notes for what seemed like an eternity. I admit I was a Blue Book slut, loving the joyous and boisterous Football Medley, ‘Neath the Elms, Chariot, and the like, so much so that my fellow backbencher Katie Albert would frequently shove an elbow into my ribs and furiously whisper “hey Osborne, you sound like a damn Beach Boy- lose the nasal tone and dial it down!”
And while the concerts and tours are top of mind memories, what the contributors of your blog brought back to me was just how much fun those weeknight evenings were with you. I’m sorry I can’t contribute any more Fenno-isms to the list compiled, but I swear I heard you say every one that is on the list. And mostly I loved seeing the enjoyment that you took from us, and I appreciated what a true calling this noble profession was for you.
Will Osborne ‘76