Thursday, April 21, 2016

A to Z April Challenge: R is for Record

Genealogists and family historians get a lot of satisfaction from chasing their ancestors’ stories. Finding a diary, a message on a postcard, or a photo with a name attached is like the sun coming out after a storm. One day we will be somebody’s ancestor. We need to leave our descendants a little bit of sunshine too. So here is my story told alphabetically, not chronologically: Growing Up in Cradock.

is for record.

Believe it or not, I actually made a record. You won’t find it on a Billboard chart or reviewed in a magazine. There is no YouTube of me performing. Heck, I’m not even the star performer. I was one of 176 10-12 year olds who formed the chorus of Cradock Junior High School in 1963 and 1964.

The choral director was Mr. Richard Harrison. Besides teaching music to students who signed up for chorus, he attracted a large number of non-singers like me for a before-school program that combined performance and music appreciation.  We were known as The Early Birds. 

Our class was blessed with a number of exceptionally beautiful voices, several angelic sopranos and budding tenors.  We performed Christmas pageants and other programs throughout the year. During the Easter season, we performed the “Stabat Mater” by Pergolesi. It is a 12-part hymn to Mary describing her suffering at the crucifixion. Our performance was recorded by WRVC-FM, a local radio station, and broadcast as a public service. It met with such interest from the public that Mr. Harrison felt compelled to preserve it forever on vinyl. At the time, our record was the only known recording of the “Stabat Mater” in English.

Album cover

Back of the album cover
The 12 movements are presented along with the featured soloist
All the performers are named
Look at me -- First Soprano

I THINK that's moi in the red circle.






















While I enjoyed my time as an Early Bird and the opportunity to sing with people who really knew how to sing, I did not pursue choral singing when I moved on to high school.

Rush right over to the A to Z April Challenge for some roaring good reads, romances, rhymes, and reviews.

© 2016, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.

18 comments:

  1. Lovely post! It's never too late to start choral singing again if you wanted to rekindle that joy, Wendy :)

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    1. I doubt anyone would want me to join.

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  2. Do you have a copy of the record? How lovely to have something preserved like that.

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    1. Yes, these pictures are of my album.

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  3. That is cool :) I think that must have been the "standard" to do with making records of events like this. I remember being part of an all city choir where we practiced at our schools then got together the day before the concert for practice for a big performance the next day. They too recorded it to sell as a record and sure enough I have mine here somewhere :) That was back in 1970.

    betty

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    1. When my daughter was in All-City Orchestra, they made a videotape which we bought. Let's see, now how many times have we played it? Umm, none. We actually still have a VCR but it's just a matter of time before it dies.

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  4. This is great. Such a unique memento and heirloom!

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    1. I suppose -- IF anyone still has a record player.

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  5. I was on a record too. My uncle Louis Cleage was always getting new stuff. When I was 4 or 5 he got something where he could make a record. He called up and had a little conversation with me. All I remember is that I said "Mia's sleeping too!" Mia being my mother's friend visiting from out of town and the other person sleeping must have been my little sister. I don't know what happened to that record. It disappeared along the way.
    Finding Eliza

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    1. Of all things to remember! Isn't it funny how we can isolate some little detail like that.

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    1. HA HA -- yes, but don't try to sell it on eBay.

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  7. That is so cool! I was in choir in elementary school and we entered competitions in the city. I was also in the church choir. The thing about being in a choir is there are plenty of people to drown you out! hahaha

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  8. How cool that you were recorded. :)

    I was never in chorus at school, but was in the teen choir at church for awhile. I loved to sing and still do, but I don't do it too often anymore.

    Have a blessed day!

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    1. No adult choir? I wouldn't want to sing with my church choir and they wouldn't want me. Each one is good. It's easy being in a choir with 175 others because you don't have to be good.

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  9. I'm impressed that you were even n the choir....I'm quite jealous of anyone who can sing well.

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    1. Oh we didn't have to be good to be in choir. There were 176 of us. There were plenty of GOOD singers to drown me out.

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