July 20: First Song – Ubi Caritas, 1994

Jon CurtisSeason of the Day, SOTD - July

Thanks to David Hanchette, we have found recordings of Consort’s first concerts!  While searching for recordings, we forgot that our earliest recordings would be on cassette tapes, rather than CDs.  We now have digitized cassette recordings of Opus 1, 1994 at Stewart Chapel and a non-annual concert at The Tamalpais in September of 1994.  You can listen to these complete concerts under Seasons -> 1994

Here is the very first song Consort ever sang, “Ubi Caritas” by Maurice Duruflé …

Maurice Duruflé, Ubi Caritas, Opus 1 opening, 1994
Warming up for the debut of Consort Chorale, August 7, 1994
It takes around 30-40 volunteers doing a variety of tasks every season to make Consort Chorale the special experience we all share each year.  In this new section of the “Season of the Day” emails, we want to celebrate some of the very special people who help to make it happen. Through the songs we have been sharing, we have already honored many composers, directors, accompanists, and soloists.  But there are also dozens of non-musical contributions, many of which happen in the background.  This section will enable us to include those people in this virtual celebration of our 2020 season.
Person of the Day: Robert Friestad

On this day that we share our very first song, it is also most appropriate to begin our Persons of the Day with our “Unflappable Dean,” Bob Friestad! 

Bob has been the force behind Consort from the very beginning. Working closely with Allan, he has done everything from helping choose the repertoire, scheduling the facilities, distributing the music, hosting the director, recruiting members, finding volunteers, sending emails, opening/closing rehearsals, setting up auditions,  providing rehearsal CDs, recording/packaging/distributing concert recordings, maintaining a publicity address list, sending notices to local newspapers, designing and printing posters and “two-fers”, providing thank you gifts, to handling complaints from singers about seating locations and encouraging them to get to rehearsals and learn the music.  And that’s just a short summary!

It is safe to say that Consort would not be here without the dedicated 25 years of Bob’s leadership.  When he stepped down in 2018, it took an entire Board of Directors to replace him.  And those on the Board have been surprised to learn about all the things he quietly did in the background.  Hopefully these emails have helped us to be more aware of what a rare and special group Consort Chorale is.  In so many ways it is a reflection of the love, nurturing, and dedication of our truly unflappable dean!