The memories below were submitted by Lycoming College Choir alumni of the "Fred-era" 1970s and 1980s, and are presented in chronological order.
Late Seventies Thoughts
Steve Gold, 1980
Many of my fondest memories of Lycoming involve the choir or choir members. I don't have any specific event in mind but here are some tidbits to jog your memories or pique your curiosities. In NO particular order . . .
1. Sunburned feet in Puerto Rico
2. Meeting at Fred's to build the Homecoming floats
3. 1st Volleyball-a-thon to help with expenses to Puerto Rico
4. Binoculars in the front row at the Kentucky School for the Blind
5. Singing in my home churches in Ickesburg, PA
And after graduation . . . I helped arrange for the choir to perform in West Springfield, MA, when I lived there, and in Rehoboth Beach, DE, when we lived there.
You Thought Your Hosts Were Strange?
Laurie Lesher Lockcuff, 1980
I remember a sense of awe every time we performed the Lutkin Benediction! I remember 18-hour volleyball sessions to raise money for our travels as well as bake sales, etc.
On tour, I remember playing a type of card game from Puerto Rico with Jorge Gonzalez and his patience trying to teach us all the game. (I still have that deck of cards although I don't remember how to play!) Sorry, Jorge. While on the bus, I remember impromptu singing/harmonizing sessions that actually sounded pretty good.
I remember staying in a house in New England that was filled with all sorts of strange and scary objects such as stuffed snakes and leopard heads, voodoo masks, spears, armadillo basket, top hats, band hats, any hats, a clear plastic leg (can you tell I still have pictures?!) We had a great time "playing around" with these until we ventured into the attic (by invitation) and came face to face with a photo of Dracula! Needless to say, none of us slept well that night.
I remember a planeful of people applauding our Barbershop Quartet on our way to Puerto Rico.
I remember most the laughter, fun, friendship, respect, and sense of belonging to a wonderful institution. My years in the Lyco Choir were a blessing that I will always treasure.
Memories of the 1980s
Leah (Kuhn) Miller, 1984
Choir memories — Traveling by bus . . . playing cards . . . singing "Hall and Oates" songs . . . "I can't go for that—No can do!"
The places — Lexington, KY . . . Churchill Downs . . . Disneyworld and the "Tomorrowland" stage . . . the church at Fort Myers Beach (the upside-down Noah's Ark) . . . Looking for shells at 6:00 a.m. on Sanibel Island . . . "Watch out for alligators!" . . . Clarke Chapel . . . Christmas services
The people — parties at Larry Estes, Mike Burger, and Marty Kutney's rooms . . . Let's see—Sunday is "James Bond" movie night, Monday Night Football, Tuesday . . . Betsey Halsey (best friend from Freshman Orientation through graduation—and beyond) . . . Fred Thayer!
Performing — Trying not to laugh when Marty Kutney changed the words on his solo . . . or when Julie pulled up the pants legs of any male choir member standing on the riser behind her. . . . And that chill that went up our spines when it all worked and the sound was beautiful!
A Common Choir Memory
David Carlyle, 1985
I don't remember where or when, I just remember some concert where Fred came tumbling off his podium...
When You Gotta Go...
Laura LeValley VanVelthoven, 1986
As everyone I'm sure can appreciate, there is usually very little time between dinner being finished and the concert starting each evening when you're on tour. Well, one particular evening in Sanibel, FL went right along with tradition. Simply, I had to go and the ladies room had its usual line. John Little graciously agreed to watch the door as I decided I better use the men's room or I was just plain going to be out of time not to mention other things! So, I went with John meticulously on guard. What I didn't know was that while I was busy, so was John. He had managed to round up most of the guys in the choir who proceeded to serenade me when I came back out of the men's room.
Another – while on tour, each selection is usually introduced by a choir member. We were on tour in New England and Dave Schneider was to introduce a piece with accompanist Margie Overly. When Dave introduced Margie, he unfortunately got a little tongue-tied and announced that Margie "Ovary" would be the accompanist. Even Fred had to take a step back off the riser after that one. It turned out to be the funniest serious piece we performed the entire tour!
Donna (Hollenbach) Zinn, 1988
One of my most memorable times in choir was at the Christmas Concert. It was a very special moment in my life.
The "Cornerstone" Duo
Cathy Schenck Pickett, 1989
I have many fond memories of Lyco Choir. My fondest Lyco Choir memory, however, was performing Richard Lakey's "Cornerstone" with Richard at the piano and Fred Thayer directing. Absolutely Splendid Duo! Now . . . everyone, Hum a D.