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The Rewards of Teamwork...

The Lake of Woods Madrigal Singers                            University of Michigan Madrigal Quartet
I believe that one of the best learning experiences one can have is to be put into a group situation and then be left to defend themselves. I have had the opportunity to work in many groups in many different situations in my life and I can tell you that the rewards are plentiful. The skills that one acquires are endless... the ability to listen, to collaborate and to let your ego take a rest are just a few. 

In high school, a group of friends in my senior year formed a quartet. We were called "The Madrigal Singers."  We performed all over the Northwestern Ontario and to this day we remain long -distant friends. Two of the singers have made music a career (Lenard Whiting and Melody Jacobson Krever).  Below is a picture of that group when we were about 18 years of age.

The Madrigal Singers at McLeod Park in the City of Kenora. From left to right: Leonard Whiting, Beverly Wager, Heather LaBelle (accompanist), Melody Jacobson Krever and Mark Winkler

A Duet from the Past 

I came across this reel-to-reel recording of a performance I gave in 1981. This recording is special to me because I was only 21 at the time, and I was singing with a tenor who was 20. His name was Peter Riberi. And at the age of 20, he sounded like Mario Lanza. He later became a successful tenor in the world of opera. He sang numerous times at the Metropolitan Opera and was featured on many Met broadcasts in the 90s. I don't know whatever happened to Peter, but it was pure joy to sing with him.

This baritone and tenor duet is from the operetta "The Merry Wives of Windsor." If you know anything about opera you realize the tenor is the one who always shines in front while the baritone takes a backseat and supports whatever the tenor is doing. This short recording confirms that theory.

And finally, to give you an example of why I liked opera, you need to look no further than at the -2:08 count of this duet. I would get chills down my spine during moments like this. Not everyone may appreciate what I'm trying to say, but I hope you enjoy the duet anyway.

Tenor, Peter RIberi at the tender age of 20.
Tenor, Peter Riberi at the tender age of 20.

The other group that was formed when I was in University (again, in my senior year) ... and once again it was a quartet ... and yet once again two of these members stayed in music (Thomas A. Gregg and Carol Sahakian McAndrew).  Thomas is a professor of voice at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Carol is a choral director in Michigan.  A recording has recently surfaced of us singing a concert in Ann Arbor Michigan.  Below is the recording of that recital.

Carol Sahakian McAndrew

Six Chansons - Paul Hindemith

Three Gilbert and Sullivan Quartets

Four Madrigals

Quartet - Johannes Brahms