F F Heath Jr. 12-30-1926 to 12-05-2008
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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
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Judy and I are sitting here in the sunshine and thinking about the
inestimable value and significance of your life; what you have given
all of us in your orbit in appreciating and making music that is
distinctly “Fenno” – challenging, sophisticated and cutting-edge; and so beautiful. You’ve given it to us, multiplied exponentially as we take it with enthusiasm to the various places of our lives.
I’ll always remember the boost you gave me in conducting “Unity” in
Milton and later lowering the boom on “Freedom” until I patched it up into more-or-less singable shape; or responding to a new piece with “That’s unfortunate – sounds like Michel Legrand.” (for me, a towering compliment!)
We’ve just completed a recording of four pieces and hoped you’d be the first to hear it outside the participants. I’ve unabashedly used the piquant sevenths and ninths learned from the master.
With healing love to you and your wonderful family,
"Fenno. The definition…of a great conductor, a great teacher, and a great man, kind and good."
You, Carol, and your loving family are in the hearts of all who were blessed to know you and to sing under your direction.
Filled with love and joy for music, you imparted these qualities to us. Unfailingly gracious, generous, and noble in the face of the challenges involved, you inspired us to reach for some transcendent goal that we did not know we could reach until we had done it.
Your masterpieces of composition, so many arrangements of great insight and profound respect for the material at hand---singing these with you made the experience all the more personal. Your ingenious conducting technique - an elegant ballet that swept delighted choristers up and into the many sound worlds that you created, filled with magic and crackling with electrical sparks.
Oh, Fenno! To once again be singing with you, to feel the entire chorus rising to meet the demands of your gestures and directions. To feel once again the surging power of those FFF sections, and the instant swoops to PPP, all riding as it were on the wings of song. But really on the wings of your technique and musical knowledge. And your brilliant wit.
What a gift, dearest Fenno, what a gift you have been to all who know you.
With deepest love and admiration,
Warren H Rothman, ‘65