Dear Heath family,
I remember Fenno with great affection and gratitude. I was in the class of '56 and was proud to sing in the Freshman Glee Club. I had to turn down the Glee Club in sophomore year because of an overwhelming schedule -- engineering major, six days a week classes and labs; NROTC, 20% of my courses; musical director of the Dukes Men; scholarship job; and so forth. In four years I had only one elective and chose a harmony course, in the graduate school as it turned out, a surprise to me. To rescue me with the Dukes Men, I audited a course Fenno taught in Choral Conducting. If I'd spent as much attention and time to thermodynamics as I did to Fenno's course, I might have graduated /cum laude/.
The big thrill in my Yale days was Fenno's asking me to serve as the Glee Club's critic at concerts. In senior year I sang with the Whiffenpoofs, as he had a few years earlier. As our Whiffs sang at all the Glee Club concerts in those days, I was always available in the audience. Fenno asked me to listen to the Glee Club in each concert and give him feedback. What pieces worked? How was the balance? What might he and the Glee Club do differently?
Wow! For a 21 year-old to serve as the informal, confidential critic of Fenno's work -- what an unprecedented privilege in my life! He listened to my comments. I think they meant something to him. He certainly convinced me that they did.
In later years Fenno brought the Glee Club to Pittsburgh where I was able, as president of the local Yale club, to introduce him to an enthusiastic audience. Once again, what a privilege for me! The concerts -- Saturday night and Sunday morning -- were superb.
I will miss Fenno greatly.
Gib Durfee, '56e
F F Heath Jr. 12-30-1926 to 12-05-2008
About the blog:
Please feel free to share your memories with us about Fenno/Dad. Send your stories/memories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly post your letter, unless you indicate otherwise.
Thank you. Your letters bring us joy.
~Carol, Sarah, Lucy, Peggy, and Terry Heath