The EnChor East singers are very sad at the prospect of Wayne Rogers leaving us as our conductor. When, at the more or less chaotic time before last week’s rehearsal, EnChor East’s 2017/2018 president, Dan Carrier, was asked if this would mean that our concert in May would be Wayne’s Swan Song, he replied:
“Yes, you could say that. We will miss Wayne’s enjoyable ways of working with us, as well as all the extra things he has made us do, like going on a trip to New York, and to Ottawa for Canada 150. Right now we aren’t dwelling too much on his leaving, though. As ever before, we are enjoying our weekly rehearsals too much. We are working on some of the better pieces we did in the past eleven years with him, including the John Rutter Magnificat, while he also added some new and interesting pieces to our repertoire. Because of their texts, some of these pieces are clearly bearing great significance for Wayne.” The texts are poems by Robert Frost, set to music by Randall Thompson.
About the search for a replacement, Dan said that the search had gone well. “We had some applications that really perked our interest,” he said. “The search committee will start interviewing in two weeks, but you are right, the transition from one music director to another will be difficult, no matter what.”
When asked how that had been eleven years ago, when Wayne Rogers took over from Elisabeth Manteuffel, he said that that time had been very difficult for the choir, because of Elisabeth’s sudden illness.
“We were very fortunate to have Wayne,” he said. “The transition, as sudden as it was, went very smoothly. He did that very well.”
The concert the choir is now rehearsing for will take place on the evening of Tuesday, May 22, at Bethany United Church in Halifax.
“The Choir will engage an orchestra of fourteen or fifteen Symphony Nova Scotia musicians, as well as a wonderful soprano soloist,” the Choir’s president beamed. “All in order to make Wayne’s Swan Song into something no less than a true Grand Finale.”
Wayne himself, meanwhile, was loudly playing our warm-up tunes on the piano.
We had to get to work.