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Excerpts from my remarks from the stage of Jordan Hall

I’m amazed at what our students have been able to accomplish year after year. Students, this semester, have learned to sing in four different languages: Latin, Hebrew, German and English. 
Choral singers do this all the time: they learn proper diction, they absorb poetry (both secular and sacred), they learn how to sight-read music, and they improve their vocal technique.
Where else can you not just learn about music history but experience it? And the same with music theory – experiencing the effects of harmony and form.
Plus the values and skills of cooperation, careful listening, aesthetic discrimination (taste), communication skills, stage presence - confidence, poise, concentration – attentiveness.
Not to mention the health benefits of singing in a chorus  — increased lung capacity, improved balance, an optimal heart rate. And researchers have even noticed that after a rehearsal choral singers have elevated levels of disease-fighting proteins (im-mu-no-glo-bin A).
A recent study found that students who sing in choruses get better grades than students who don’t.
And that’s just a part of why more than 42 million people in the U.S. sing in more than a quarter of a million choruses today. 
Thanks to all who made this wonderful event possible. 
All my students and assistant conductors with whom I have made beautiful music over the past 40 years
Ed Swanborne, the finest collaborative pianist one could ever imagine
My patient wife Ronda
My mentor, conductor Stanley Sperber, thanks to whom I first fell in love with choral music at the age of 14.
Music Department Concert Coordinator, Arthur Rishi—who gracefully covers all the details so I can concentrate on the music.
All the other hard-working members of the committee who put together this event.
This would not have been possible without the unwavering support of Tony De Ritis, Chairman of the Music Department.
And in sweet memory of two colleagues who are no longer with us: Roland Nadeau, chairman of the Northeastern Music Department who had the good sense to hire me in 1972.
And NU President Ken Ryder who overrode the provost and granted me tenure in 1979.
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