August 15th, 2008

Mask

My Father

Occasionally a person my age or younger will tell me that it’s too late to follow their dreams. They got a degree that doesn’t fit anymore or they are in a job they hate or they just think they are too old to change.

Foolishness.

Whenever I hear something like that. I like to tell people about my father. My father retired five years ago and decided that it was time to start thinking about taking up singing. He had sung in high school, college and in the church choir but now, at the age of 60, he considered what it might take to do it professionally.

He studied under several instructors, took workshops, joined about four choirs, and soon he was doing paid work. He then auditioned for the Philadelphia Singers Chorale, the group that sings with the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the best musical groups on the planet, and made the cut into the choir.

Then, last year, he performed at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times gave this review:

The finale also benefited from the robust sound of the Philadelphia Singers Chorale, which chimed in heftily and solidly and joined Mr. Eschenbach’s players in making Mahler’s final pages — a setting of Friedrich Klopstock’s poem of spiritual resurrection — soar off the page.
-New York Times, May 10th 2007

In five years, my father went from high school biology teacher to soaring at Carnegie Hall. He is my foundation and my inspiration.

This is a video of him singing at St. Francis in Assisi. He opens the Ave Maria. Enjoy.