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April 16, 2006 [ More archived home pages here ]

Concert Choir Memories

Today's song is All Day Music by War, released in 1971.

Thirty-nine years ago today was a Sunday too. I was a Junior in High School back in Chicago at the time. My Concert Choir class had practiced for many months preparing for a public exhibition of our talents. Our class gave that concert to a full auditorium (shown below) on Sunday, April 16, 1967. It was a great experience.

I remember singing two of the songs from the program, the others have faded from my memory. I don't remember the solo from my best friend, Larry Dalke, (as indicated in the Program below), but I'm sure he did a fine job. Larry was a member of the famous "Paulus Choir", ergo he was well-suited for solo performances.

Larry and I participated in every concert our choir gave during our last three years in high school. We were part of the Bass section and made sure our section was always heard. I remember we were outnumbered by the Altos and Sopranos, but could drown them out in class whenever we wanted. Mr. Ruffin, the conductor, was always imploring the Altos and Sopranos to sing with more volume. His efforts were in vain, they sang much too meekly.

The best public performances the Concert Choir performed, in my opinion, took place in December 1967 and in the Spring of 1968. We again filled the auditorium to capacity each time. Two songs stand out in my mind from public concerts during our last year in high school: "Jubilate Deo" (sung in Latin); and "Battle Hymn Of The Republic". The latter featured Mr. Ruffin performing an unexpected solo while we sang behind him. He received a standing ovation at the end!

Sometimes when Larry and I call one another on the phone, we reminisce about our concert choir years together. We still know most of "Jubilate Deo", which just proves that all those months back in high school of practicing it in Latin seems to have had a permanent effect on our memories.

Then again, just like our other high school buddies recall, most of our memories from high school seem indelible. Those were good years together.


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