We are constantly inspired by the people we hear about in eulogies at funerals, but one day this week, we discovered hidden histories amongst our musical colleagues too!
Mezzo Kirsty sung near Woking, at the Mass of a remarkable lady who loved her ballet and her music. Every Saturday, she would clean her home top to bottom to Victoria de los Angeles singing Canteloube’s “Chants d’Auvergne” full blast on the record player.
Unusually, Kirsty met the lady’s son beforehand as he set up the Chants d’Auvergne recording to play in the church. She was delighted to discover he was a professional musical director for major West End musicals, and has been MD for Kate Bush live on stage too. (Kirsty is a huge Kate Bush fan!) She then discovered that the charming and very dapper organist for the funeral, who had a wonderful sense of humour, had been Ozzie Osbourne’s keyboard player when Ozzie split from Black Sabbath! (Kirsty grew up with Black Sabbath’s music as it was her brothers’ favourite band…)
Needless to say, the service was full of music and celebration, ending with the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” at a definitely quick march! (Thanks to Lodge Brothers West Byfleet for your booking and insights.)
Soprano Toni was 50 miles away near Redhill, singing at a sadder occasion for a younger man taken very suddenly. The choice of “Time to say goodbye” was very apt, and gave Toni a chance to ring out her top notes. Only afterwards did she discover that the part-time vicar was also a West End producer with a show running in London! The family texted straight afterwards to thank her and say how it just wouldn’t have been the same without her singing.
An amazing day of performers coming together to help families commemorate two very different lives, when the sun finally shone after days of continual rain.