I had the great privilege of singing for Fenno for three years, 1960 – 1963, in the YGC. Yes, singing FOR him. As much as singing under his direction pleased, satisfied and gratified me, it was for him that I sang and it was to please him that I worked at it as I did.
Further, it was THROUGH him that I sang. When I sang for him, I always had the feeling that my voice and those of the men singing with me went THROUGH Fenno and that it was he who molded, shaped, modified the sound before it went beyond him to the audience. He played the glee club instrument as much as he directed us. I have sung under the direction of great choral directors, but none was the equal of Fenno Heath.
I learned of Fenno’s death from the program for the YGC’s recent holiday tour. As moving as their music was, it was not their voices that moved me to tears during that performance. It was the loss of a man who was important in my life in ways that I may never understand. Heaven’s chorus will forever sound better.