I sense that all across the country and the world tonight, Yale Glee Club alums are listening to our favorite choral passages, recalling rehearsals in Hendrie Hall, giggling about overripe moments on a YGC tour bus, and reliving the thrill of performing under your direction.
As I made our family dinner this evening, I grabbed some blue cheese from the refrigerator in your honor (I never knew your favorite foods and visual artists before...bless your family for sharing some details from your life that we can savor further), and I listened to the cassettes of the 125th YGC anniversary concert in 1986, my senior year at Yale. Hearing Shenandoah, Ain'a That Good News, and Randall Thompson's Alleluia brought me both comfort and a wide smile. All the memories came rushing back, and we were all together again in Woolsey Hall.
As I cooked, I tried to show my kids some of the conducting language you shared with us: how you bounced on your feet and commanded "give me more weight in your voices" with your turned-up hands; the pitch-correcting tug at a few strands of your hair when we were going flat; the "go away" hand motion when you wanted our sound to slowly disappear; the silent,
over-the-glasses glower at those who dared to chat during rehearsal; and the ready smile of encouragement you beamed at a piece sung well.
Fenno, we do remember you so fondly, as a conductor, certainly, but also as a mentor and a friend. Peace and love to you and your family.
Deborah Miles Czech '86