Saturday, September 17, 2011

“Sharing music was her joy, and brought her close to many”

My friend Jane Scott died this spring.

I’m finally able to write about it.

Jane meant so very much to so many people.

Jane and I met around 1984 through our membership in the Renaissance Revival, an early music ensemble, and we formed a fast friendship almost from the beginning. Our voices were beautifully compatible, and I valued her perceptive musicianship and artistic intelligence. Jane and I remained very close after we both left that ensemble (she around 2000, me around 2007). We both sang in a large ensemble and performed duets together on several occasions before she became ill. 

She was an intelligent, generous musical partner and an exemplary chorister. She always marked her scores properly, she was always on time, she always knew her music, and her technique, intonation, and diction were always great. On a few lucky occasions, I was assigned to stand directly in front of her during Chorale performances. There was nothing like singing Messiah with Jane's clear, supple voice in my ear... She had a marvelous trill and a nice touch with early and Baroque music.

One of Jane's greatest griefs during the course of her illness was the loss of her singing voice and lack of energy for singing in the [ensemble] and in her church choir, where she was the much-loved soprano soloist. Numerous head and neck surgeries, oral radiation, and chemotherapy took away her silvery, flexible voice and sapped her strength.

When I last saw Jane, she was emaciated and very worn down, very tired, and, I think, getting ready to let go physically, though she was by no means ready to let go of life.

But in this picture, you can see her (at left) as I will always remember her:  friendly, smiling, and always ready to sing.

At the end of this post, I’ve provided a link to her obituary, in which we can read this lovely thought: “Sharing music was her joy, and brought her close to many.”

It is a worthy and fitting epitaph.

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