To the Editor:
You can't please all of the people all of the time. No truer words were ever spoken. Unfortunately, two of the people who were not pleased about various issues concerning last weekend's Princeton High School Choir reunion wrote letters to the papers about their issues. Perhaps if they had known how much work was involved in planning and executing that event, they would not have been so critical.
First of all, the founding director of the choir, Mr. Harvey Woodruff, was not "omitted from the list" of former choir directors. His name was included in the commemorative program, and his accomplishments and contributions were noted in Town Topics' recent article about the reunion. No one is denying that the PHS Choir program owes Mr. Woodruff a tremendous debt.
"Invitations were not sent to all chorus/choir alumni" for a very good reason. There were no master lists to work from. When we began to plan this reunion, we had only two sources which were fairly accurate. One was the program from the 50th anniversary of the choir; the other was the 2000 Princeton High School Alumni Directory. Choir pictures from past Prince yearbooks were not helpful because the names of choir participants were not listed under the pictures. Also, any female choir member who changed her maiden name was essentially lost to us. Thus, we had a very limited start-up list, and the first letter we sent out asked choir alums to spread the word by e-mail and phone calls. Many of them did, and some of the classes were very well represented at the reunion. I'd like to thank everyone who sent us names and address; we were very grateful for your support.
The task of trying to reach choir members from 1948 until the present was a daunting task, to say the least. Our small steering committee worked diligently. Every single day for two or three months, we received checks in the mail, phone calls, and e-mails, all of which had to be attended to. Choir director Charles Sundquist worked the equivalent of two full-time jobs in the month preceding the reunion. Sarah Pelletier also did "yeoman's duty," arranging meals for 200 people and taking care of many details. It was a huge job.
That said, all the hard work was worth it. It was a wonderful event, full of joy, meeting old friends, making new ones, celebrating our illustrious past, and looking forward to the future. Seeing Tom Hilbish and Bill Trego again was the highlight of the weekend for all of us. Both of the concerts, the present choir's Mozart Requiem on Friday night, and the alumni choir's Faure Requiem on Saturday night, were extremely well-attended and well-received. Those alums who did attend thanked us profusely, and since then, Mr. Sundquist has received many congratulatory e-mails and phone calls.
To those who wrote the negative letters, I suggest they volunteer to serve on the steering committee for the next Choir Alumni Reunion, which will be the 70th. It's only ten years away.
Princeton High School Choir
Alumni Steering Committee
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