We all knew, even at the time, that Fenno was remarkable. The energy, the confidence, the power to take a giggling, flirting, unfocused group of nattering adolescents and pull astounding music out of them to fill a hall or cathedral and leave audiences thunderstruck. You've always been a force of nature and almost mythical figure, Fenno. This funny little man in a bowtie who could crush us one minute, redeem us the next and leave us all astonished, as that last glorious chord evaporated and the audience erupted in cheers, at what we had done. You always made us more than we knew we could be.
Like many who've posted, I've been unable to find a director and, consequently, choral group beyond Yale that could begin to duplicate the combination of enjoyment, cameraderie and excellence of the YGC under Fenno.
My YGC experiences -- the back rubs at rehearsal, the thrilling performances, the Super Cool Mellow Stunt Bus, the Scandinavian tour in '87 -- are among the most cherished of my life. And you're front and center, Fenno, the guardian angel of glee.
Remember, guys, how he would make us sing quietly as hybrid cars, barely emitting a whisper, challenging our vocal apparatus to stay on pitch and damn near inaudible at the same time, making that go-away gesture, savoring the ethereal whisper and, no doubt, the earnest looks of superconcentration on all our young faces, and prompting us with that Fennoism, "Make them wonder, 'how do they do it?'"
I don't know how we did it. The only answer is: "Fenno." Peace to you, Fenno, and Carol and all the family. You live forever in our hearts and memories, a harmony that comes from everywhere and lingers, never quite dying away.
Samantha Bennett, '88
President, National Society of Newspaper Columnists
Irreverence is the champion of liberty
and its only sure defense.
-- Mark Twain