Henderson paid tribute to Lela Cate who recently passed away. Cate will be remembered as one of the revered lifetime members who supported the club selflessly for more than 40 years.
After the roll call and reading of the February meeting minutes by Pat Henley, secretary, treasurer Terry Barger gave a financial report. He pointed out that a donation to the club’s scholarship fund will be made in honor of Mrs. Cate.
Chairman of the Scholarship Committee Pat Meagher updated members on preparations for the club’s Scholarship Benefit Concert at the Museum Center on May 30. She has been working closely with committee members Jeannie Sawyer and Nancy Paul who gave additional details.
Sawyer reported that she has made firm arrangements for the concert with two highly acclaimed pianists who will be performing together on two Steinway pianos. “Both musicians are Steinway pianists who have been delighting their audiences on many concert stages across the country,” Sawyer added.
Meagher, Sawyer and Paul asked members to take on specific assignments in preparation for the event and everybody pledged enthusiastic support. Due to limited seating, tickets will be sold in advance which will be available in early May. More details will be released over the next few weeks.
Turning the program over to Henley, Henderson explained that program directors Maurine Olin and Henley had to reverse the order of the programs listed in the yearbook due to schedule conflicts.
“A Ticket to Ride” was Henley’s theme for the music that followed. “I was driving with my daughter by the Train Depot admiring the restored old train station when she mentioned to me that it would provide a great setting for a music club meeting. Naturally, without a piano, it would not be practical,” Henley smiled, “but it gave me the idea to do a program involving Travel — be it by train, by plane, by boat, or even on foot,” she continued.
Taking her audience on the road, Henley warmed up the piano by playing “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown,” a traditional Scottish hymn. She was followed by Andy Hunt, who switched to a boat trip. He sang the haunting folksong “Oh Shenandoah,” accompanied by Paul on the piano.
Meagher’s travel adventures continued with her song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” bringing back childhood memories that made her dream along with Judy Garland who introduced that song in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Paul played piano accompaniment.
Never seeming to get tired of playing the piano with or without sheet music, Paul had put together a dazzling “Travel Medley” that seamlessly flowed along. Starting with the “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” she took her journey across an array of states with tunes including such old favorites as “Georgia,” “Moon over Carolina,” “O Susannah,” “Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Shenandoah,” “Tumble Weed,” “I Left my Heart in San Francisco” and others.
Pianist Martha Lessig continued her travels by crossing the Atlantic and taking a river cruise. She played “The Blue Danube Waltz.”
Olin, who is known for her involvement with the Storytelling Guild, closed the program by reciting the story about a man who took off to “The Edge of the World” to find God so he could ask him where he could find luck. On his journey, he was stopped several times by others who begged him to get advice for them that would solve their problems. With a promise to do so, he continued his journey and Olin recited after each of his stops the phrase that “he walked for a day, for a week, for a month, for a year, and for a year and a day.” Expecting the recurrence of those lines, a chuckling audience joined her in repeating that phrase with her.
Henderson adjourned the meeting by thanking the Hunts for their hospitality and by applauding Henley and everybody who had contributed to the program. Members stayed on to enjoy fellowship and refreshments served by Sawyer.