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.
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.
|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.