Dear Heath family,
I have often discussed my bright college years with my family and friends. When asked what I most cherish about Yale, two things always come first to mind: the wonderful people and the music.
As a stressed out student who had arrived at Yale, academically unprepared, and still reeling from a traumatic death in my family, I found solace in singing. Fenno did not accept me as a freshman, because I couldn't read music. Instead, he guided me into a course where I learned to do so, and assisted me in finding a voice teacher. When I did get in, the Glee Club was a shining highlight of my time at Yale. Fenno had more of an influence on me than any other adult with whom I had contact in my four years in New Haven. Thirty years later, I can't recall the names of 90% of my professors, or even name all of the classes I took, but when the Glee Club performed the Randall Thompson Alleluia in Seattle earlier this month and invited all of the alums to perform it with them, I was able to recall most of my part without the benefit of a rehearsal. The memory of standing in that Hendrie Hall rehearsal room with Mark Dollhopf booming in my right ear, is still enough to bring a smile to my face.
Fenno's legacy, of course, includes his choral arrangements and musical accomplishments. He took a generation of kids with varying amounts of talent and taught us to create beautiful music. He showed us that we could create something far beyond our expectations. But for me, the most memorable thing about Fenno was the way he shared the joy of music with all of us. I feel honored to have known him.
Lenore McGown Defliese '77