A Small Salute to Some Great Singers

February 1, 2015

For some years now I have had the pleasure and honor to read a selection of poetry intersecting the songs sung by ViVoce. ViVoce is the outreach ensemble of the Portland Revels. They are an a capella women’s ensemble and sing songs from around the world, two performances in winter and two in summer in concert. Directed by Bennett Bailey and Jamie Lynn Webster, and managed by Antonia Forster; who wisely chooses the poetry.

Rehearsing with Director Bennett Bailey

Rehearsing with Director Bennett Bailey

Often, my partner Anne-Louise also joins me to tell traditional stories rewritten to provide a humorous theatrical interlude. We have a great time doing this, and we are always somewhat deflated when the two concerts are over.

Until now I have not thought of a way of telling everyone involved how much I think of them and the amount of hard work they put into such a short exposure to the public. Two concerts in January and two in June.

Today, February 1st, when many Americans are glued to a panel that will sell them things they don’t need for four or five hours and call it a football game, I sat and listened to the ensemble rehearse for the second winter performance. And it came to me to write a poem. A poem for them, and about what they really do. Here it is…

Never Doubt

Never underestimate what you do
Never doubt that somehow
That somehow your voices;
Striking out clearly
Striking out and beautifully reflecting
Off stone and wood;
That you voices find homes
In the minds of listeners.
We who are listening transfixed,
Made to open our hearts,
Open to a sweet, bittersweet knowing.
We listeners almost willingly frozen
Receive a gift, another chance.
A chance to open dark chambers
And let the light of your music pour in.
Whether we know it or not
We are permanently changed.
Never doubt the value of what you do.

Sure, it is a little ragged and I will edit it sometime. But it is a start to thanking them for their acceptance and kindness. More about ViVoce at this LINK

5 Responses to “A Small Salute to Some Great Singers”

  1. Mary walsh said

    It is great, Bob! You have a gift!

  2. bobsterry said

    Thank you, Mary!

  3. Susannah said

    Thank you so much for your kind words. We greatly appreciate all you do for us and with us. -Susannah (a Vivoce singer)

  4. Barbara Cohn said

    It is lovely to read such kind words written about my mother-in-law’s singing group. I know that she and all who participate dedicate a lot of time to enhance and share their beautiful gifts.

  5. Kathy O'Connor said

    I always find your poetry and prose readings powerfully evocative of moods and meanings, and a wonderful addition to our concerts. Thank you for all that you do!

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