Voice of an Angel

Last night, my sister Wendy asked me what music and/or musicians Mom enjoyed listening to, her wanting to post some of the music within her Facebook page to share with her friends and people she knows… Wendy had been playing some that she knew of off the computer, as I talked with Rick our stepfather… The sounds of classical, opera, jazz and songs from famous musicals filled the room as the evening wore on… So I told her a few that came to mind, though I am often hard pressed to remember the names of songs or who sung them, often just enjoying the music or the story behind the words sung… There are just too many groups and musicians to recall, picturing the album artwork in my head relating to the musical sound, but not recalling the singer/s or group’s name…

Our Hunting Fathers (“Messalina”) sung by Phyllis Bryn-Julson

One of my Mom’s dearest friends from college and also my Godmother Phyllis Bryn-Julson (singing in the video above), whom is a very respected opera singer… Mom would play her albums, singing with her in harmony words I didn’t seem to understand then…

When I was very young one of my first and fondest memories of my Mom playing music, the old stereo just shaking the pictures upon the walls and make the windows shake… I recall is of Wendy as a baby, when she was crying once… My Mom singing to the Sound of Music to Wendy, when she was just in diapers before she could talk, the tears stopping and a look of wonder in her face… We lived in Rochester then, a large house that the acoustics would echo up the stairway to the next floor…

Some of the albums would be classical music that would include, organ or piano, then others with song, Hymns, opera, songs from classical musicals… Two of the albums included my Mom singing on them, my grandfather accompanying her with playing the piano in the background…. She had even originally gone to Syracuse University to be a voice major in music, but had later changed to get a teacher’s degree…

The memory is a song she would sing with is from an Opera, Lakmé… This opera includes a famous and popular part of the concert- the Flower Duet, a duet sung by two women… I recall my Mom matching note for note in perfect harmony her voice to theirs… I was still very young but the image and memory has ever been one I always cherished… For me her voice became what I would believe would be what the musical voices of angels should sound like…


5 Responses

  1. That was very heartwarming, keep those memories close.

  2. You are lucky to have so many wonderful memories, Chuck. And your Mom is lucky to have kids who know what she would like to hear. I’m so glad you can be there with her.

  3. Chuck, I remember hearing the records of your mom singing and was in awe. SHe had a beautiful voice! –Shannon

  4. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    • Thank you Louis…

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