June 30, 2011
To: Those Goldened Denison Singers
So, what's the old bromide about trying to express the inexpressible in words? I find myself in that position as I attempt to send my immense gratitude for your participation in our memorable long weekend together. Everything about the event was absolutely amazing—making music before that demonstrative audience at the level of artistry we attained in those few hours of exacting work; the incredible array of talent and high spirits arrayed on the Burke Recital Stage Friday evening (Jon Gibson has promised competition from the 90s generation the next time); the wonderfully boisterous socializing. In fact, I was again struck observing those many interactions among people separated chronologically by as many as four decades who nonetheless worked and played together as though this was a regular sort of thing. I'm probably the only one among you who could name every person on the stage, but I hope that you returned home having become better acquainted with fellow Singers you might have never met before.
How can I manage sufficient thanks to those individuals who took on extra responsibilities? Our two superb keyboardists (and Chrissy for arranging those floral tributes), our two talented in-house composers who created such memorable works on our behalf, our two gifted vocal coaches (one of them our memorable German teacher), Bob Palmer for his ongoing work on our website and that amazing slide show, and above all, Rick, who dealt with all the nitty-gritty so superbly and efficiently.
I do owe an apology to SteVe Black for the mis-spelling of his name on the program and to Val for suggesting in print that she never graduated, thus confirming her eternal youthfulness.
Two practical matters: I know that the Soundwaves engineer disappeared before at least some of you had a chance to drop order blanks in the basket. I heard from Dan Canalos that he would like to have any orders in hand asap, so that they will know how many copies to make. You can either mail the order form, or, if more convenient phone (877.226.2567) or use email@example.com. Bob again invites use of the website, denisonsingers.org, as a means of keeping in touch, allowing the recording of changes of address, etc. It is certainly a beehive of activity at the moment; Bob has posted the article Fleur Metzger wrote for DU's electronic newspaper, the Brian Miller article that appeared both in The Granville Sentinel and Newark Advocate, as well as a slideshow of the 433+ photos taken by that pro who seemed to lurk everywhere over the weekend, concluding with our formal portrait on the Swasey steps. Kudos to our Website Wizard.
So, again, eternal gratitude for bringing much joy into my life. I was deeply touched by all those tributes, some of which might actually be warranted (although not that from Marnie). I am about to mount on a Denison Singers wall that treasured, signed group photo. Of course, I was most deeply touched by Jeff's announcement of your generous communal gift to the scholarship fund; I shouldn't have been amazed, but was in fact dumbfounded by his successful chairing of such a surreptitious campaign and the amount raised. Generations of Denison students will profit from your generosity.
So, I guess that it has been decided that we will gather in Granville again in two years. It's probably not too early at least to think about chronology. I know that we want our gatherings to be independent, and that last weekend in June, while excluding some, also has seemed to work best for those who teach or who have kids in school. Let me or Rick know what you think.
Again, with the hope that everybody enjoyed a safe journey home, and endless gratitude, all the best. See you in June 2013, if not before.
Mary and I extend to each of you and to Bill Osborne our deepest thanks for a fabulous weekend on the beautiful Denison University campus. To be included in your special days of remembrance, fellowship, music, and camaraderie (and to be given such a lovely bottle of wine!!) was an honor and delight we never expected but will always treasure. Our lives are the richer for knowing you and sharing in your community. -- Don Armitage
What a treat it was to see you in Granville last weekend, both my old students and all the friends I've made in the reunions in Winston-Salem. You did a terrific job on my songs. You responded to my comments and ideas and took the songs to a new level in the performance. You guys have a remarkable bond born of friendship, music, and Osborne. I am honored to be included as a friend and collaborator. -- Bill Stevens