A MEMORIAL SERVICE WAS HELD ON SAT. MARCH 28TH, 2009 AT BATTELL CHAPEL, Yale University, at 3:00pm. All were cordially invited. Over 800 in attendance! DVD available through the Yale Glee Club office.

Service details: Tom Murray, University Organist, started the prelude 20 minutes before the 3 p.m. service began. There were performances by The Yale Glee Club, The Yale Alumni Chorus, The Whiffenpoofs of 2009, The SLOT's, and The University Glee Club of New Haven. A magnificent, and humbling, tribute.

Contributions in memory of Fenno may be sent to the
North Congregational Church P.O. Box 307 New Hartford CT 06057.

Condolences may be sent directly to the family (Carol, Sarah, Lucy, Peggy, Terry) at pogilvy@comcast.net

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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 pogilvy@comcast.net 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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Fenno's love of singing was infectious, and it is one infection that I decline to cure.

I’m marveling at the many people Fenno helped blossom and introduced to music. I've sung constantly before and after Yale, in both amateur and professional choirs. For years I would listen to one particular piece of music, the Ave Maria by Josquin and I somehow it would always effect me deeply. It seemed almost as though I knew it….It turns out I did. Fenno taught us when I was a sophomore…There it was on the Yale Glee Club recording of 1978. Fenno's love of singing was infectious, and it is one infection that I decline to cure.

Paul Erling tenor '81

From Peggy's Colleague at Woodstock Elementary School

Hi Peggy,

I just want to let you know I have goose bumps from your father's blog. What a wonderful legacy. We all miss you, but know you're in the right place. Don't rush things, take all the time you need. You have a lot to process and and can't do it over. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.


Martha G.

Peter Thomas '90

Dear Fenno,

Thank you for all the beautiful music. I sang off and on with YGC during college, 1986-90 along with such wonderful singers as Tom Porter, Mitchell Hammond, Eric Banks, Laura Stanfield, Dawn Ellis and many more. I carried the love of singing instilled in YGC along with me to many stages of life since then.

Now my three year old daughter Mariana is growing up singing, inventing melodies and verses to narrate all the activities going on with and around her.
My wife Diana is expecting another baby soon, whom Mariana has already named "Fred". Recently they were in church together; when the anthem ended Mariana turned towards Diana's midriff and called out "Hey Fred, that was Music!" She wants to make sure her sibling won't miss out on the most important things in life. Thanks for making sure those of us who passed under your baton didn't miss out either.

With lasting admiration,

Peter Thomas
Yale '90
Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Biology & Cognitive Science
Case Western Reserve University // Department of Mathematics

Paul Promadhat YGC '90

Over the years I've had the opportunity to sing with some of the world's great conductors, orchestras, and soloists. I've experienced many moments of sublime musical beauty. This year I'm singing 7 concerts with the NY Philharmonic. Without Fenno and the YGC none of this would have happened. Thank-you Fenno, I'll miss you. I'll be digging through my old photos and newer digital pics and sending what I find.

Paul Promadhat YGC '90

Murray Wheeler '62

Hey, Carol - I am truly sorry for your loss, really a loss to all singers who so enjoy and are challenged by Fenno's immense contribution to choral singing. His awesome legacy will live on forever to those who are up to interpreting it. Sincerely, Murray Wheeler '62

Bonnie /Jackson /Kestner, TD '74

To the Family of Fenno Heath,

I am sorry to hear of Fenno's passing. He contributed much to the lives of many students, and I cherish fond memories of my short time singing with the Yale Glee Club in the fall of 1970. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


Bonnie /Jackson /Kestner, TD '74

4 pictures from the 1965 World Tour

These four pictures show:

The spontaneous audience that materialized when we sang from the steps of the museum inside the Kremlin. I think Fenno decided to make these impromptu concerts when it became clear our formal concerts were for invited audiences only.

Fenno beaming at the Taj Mahal.

The band that greeted us at a grassy airport in the Philippines.

Fenno conducting from atop his chair between courses at the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant in Aberdeen, Hong Kong.


Peter Stambler '66

Heaven almost seems enviable now with Bartholomew, Henning & Heath strutting the boards.

Dear Fenno -
I was very saddened (and shocked) to hear of your death on Saturday last. I've been out of the loop lately, and had no idea of the tenor of your condition. I had so hoped to see you, emotionally refreshed and ready to lead the S.L.O.T.S. for another glorious rehearsal in the Woolsey Hall rotunda, next spring. I think we're all going to be a little off-key for awhile.
I've known you all my life (and have uncounted memories of you, mostly in song), but I wanted to remind you of something that came to mind when I first heard of your condition last Wednesday (from my sister, Morgan). The evening of the day Dad died (1/15/90), you came over to 223 Bradley St. (w/ Lou Hemingway) and sat down with Mom to immediately start composing the music program for his memorial service. It was such a comfort and joy to have you so immediately involved in what was Dad's greatest joy in life, singing, and you so help to keep things from missing the beat. Dad loved you, as do we all. Heaven almost seems enviable now with Bartholomew, Henning & Heath strutting the boards.
My love to you, Carol & family.

Cameron Henning

From Bill Rhangos '53

So sorry to hear of Fenno`s demise. I was class of `53 and Popo of the Whiffs that year. I remember trying to learn the bass part to September Song that he arranged for our group. That's the highest note that this 2nd bass ever had to sing. He was a great guy and a truly gifted musician.

Love to the family,

Bill Rhangos '53

Fenno was one of the greatest influences on my life

Fenno was one of the greatest influences on my life. We were not close personally, but I learned so much from him. I began singing in the Apollo Glee Club and then graduated to the Yale Glee Club in my sophomore year, as I recall. I sang baritone and served under Fenno as rehearsal accompanist. He would come into rehearsal, put an open score on the piano and tell me to play the parts, not the vocal reduction. Thanks to his patience and steadiness, I learned how to do it. And what an exacting director he was! He insisted that we memorize virtually everything, so that, in concert, we would watch him and respond fully to every nuance he sought to draw forth. He insisted on clear and precise diction: I well remember a woman classics major from Radcliffe who said of a concert we did in Boston's Symphony Hall, "I understood every word, especially the Latin." Fenno's spirit was an inspiration to Yale men and women for generations, a true blessing.

M. Andrew Johnston, Yale College 1968

Bright College Years

To Carol and Family,

My condolences and thoughts are with you.  Here's a note I posted to the blog last week, I think during the time when there were some technical difficulties, so it never made it on.  Maybe it will work now.


I guess I always elongated the "o" in your name, being a gal from Roanoke, VA ("Row-Noke"), but at least that gave you a chance to wax poetic about your roots in Newport News.  It was an honor and a privilege to sing with you, one I surely didn't deserve on account of my voice, but hopefully I made up for any deficiencies there with attention and good cheer.  I'll never forget the wonderful times we had together and the people we students became under your tutelage -- first freezing together in the Midwest Winter Tour, then basking in sunny southern France and Italy during the summer European Tour.  To this day I don't know how a bunch of college kids could presume to give an impromptu concert in St. Peter's, but it seemed to make perfect sense at the time.

We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to you, Fenno.  Not only for the musical gifts you so freely offered us, but for the incredible community you helped to build –- we can see it now unfolding on these pages.   The YGC experience transcends the years, but there two constants: Yale and Fenno. 

Bright college years, indeed.  Godspeed, my friend.

Anne Hamner Rosales '84

From Peter Bonoff '67

The Fenno Heath Master Class and Fenno's rekindling of the love of his music at Yale in the Woolsey Hall Jamboree on reunion Saturdays that Jeff Brenzel organized and emceed was for so many of us an unforgettable high point of reunions for about 15 years.
Now, fortunately, Mark Dollhopf carries on this extraordinary, proud tradition with his dynamic energy, musical talents, style and grace.
Jeff Brenzel continues to blend tradition and innovation with his characteristic combination of diligence and inspiration as Dean of Admissions---and Yale music (as well as Yale School of Music) are leading beneficiaries of his mission.
Thanks, Jeff and Mark for all you do for Yale.

Fenno, you've done it again! We owe you more gratitude than mere words can express in this space for your labors of love. They have inspired labors of love for music and for Yale in countless admirers around the world. Godspeed and God bless!
Peter Bonoff


Hello to the Heath Family,


Please accept my condolences. Fenno’s passing is indeed a sad moment but his legacy is one of joy. I sang under his direction for three years in the YGC at Yale, ‘followed in his musical footsteps’ in both the Spizzwinks(?) and the Whiffs. Fenno’s commitment to choral music, his extraordinary musicianship, his ‘magical hands’, his striving for perfection (and his wry smile and tolerance when we goofed),  are memories that I will treasure. More importantly, his music will be  performed for generations to come.


Yours truly,


Stewart Cole, Yale 1960





From Pete Arnold '58

At a recent gathering of singing groups I was taunted into singing "Eddie my Love" at Battell Chapel. The presentation received a standing ovation from the less learned audience. Walking down the aisle after the program was finished I saw Fenno and Carol toward the back of the hall...Fenno arose as I approached, reached out his hand to shake mine and quoth..."My, my, you certainly have great control of your falsetto". I have wondered, ever since, what he thought of my singing voice, but I packed the memory away as a compliment that I MAY have deserved, having retained my "falsetto" into my 70th year. I enjoyed every minute with Fenno, a genius, who took a bunch of rookie singers and created magic moments of music...

pete arnold, Y '58

Rusty (Popo) Post

It was the spring of 1957 and 13 of us had just been selected as the Whiffenpoofs of 1958. 11 of us were members of the Yale Glee Club but that didn't include Fritz Kinzel, (our Pitchpipe) or me (the Popo). How wonderfully ironic. Fritz and I were strongly in support of the Yale Glee Club and didn't want to be the reason why 11 seniors withdraw just because the two of us weren't members of it. The problem was that Fenno rightfully had some modest requirements for joining the glee club: you had to be able to sing. So even though we were now the leaders of the world-famous Whiffenpoofs, we had to try out for the world-famous Glee Club.

Fenno loved it. I mean, we were friends, but he had the power and savored every moment of it. He gave us the try-out and then with a twinkle in his eyes, he ruled. "Okay you guys. You can sing...barely. You're in."

As much as we loved being Whiffenpoofs, we loved being part of Fenno Heath's Glee Club, one of the finest men's choral group as there was in the world. How lucky can we be?

And now, we no longer have Fenno but we do have memories. The Whiffenpoofs of 1958 were a superb group but no more so than the Yale Glee Club of 1958 both in song and in friendship and for an entire year, we traveled together across this country and in Eastern Europe. In the case of the 1958 Whiffs, we were all the luckier because we've kept making memories. We 13 are all over 70 years old, all still alive, all still standing, and all still singing. Earlier this year, we enjoyed our 50th reunion at Yale and hoped that Fenno would be able to come join us but it wasn't meant to be.

I can now tell a Fenno secret: one day he told me that the Whiffs of 1958 were Fenno's favorite Whiffenpoof group.

Rusty (Popo) Post