I Was a Teenage Choirboy

During my high school period some of my best times were in choir and drama club, both of which inevitably connected in the annual musical production. I may not have much about me that says choirboy, but I did it somewhat more successfully than the disastrous physics class attempt at the same point in time.

Choir was every other noon hour. It was a new educational venture for me, although the musical productions were established. There was supposed to have been a real wave of musical interest among the students at that point of time mid-to-late 80s.

I was in the bass section with other friends. Two of them actually had a side project in a barbershop quartet. They were all fans of the accapella group The Nylons. Choir gave me my post-gym class exposure to the Beach Boys, by singing their medley. I would catch a ride home with my choir teacher after practices. She was the daughter-in-law of my elementary music teacher, Mrs. Poole, who had struck me as really academic when I was six or seven singing “Jimmy Crack Corn.” Mrs. Poole II, the choir teacher, would explain that she came from a family versed in classical academia and married into a family of Rush fans. Having no classic rock background, she got the kind of education real fans will give you. She had told us a story of coming home to her husband singing a Meatloaf song on acoustic guitar to her, which I’m sure she loved.

She figured me not to be a Beach Boys fan since I wasn’t that good at it but would work harder at Dvorak or John Donne, nearly anything classical or baroque. I also ended up with a prejudiced dislike of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” (although I otherwise have loved jazz). It was already too over-used to me. Overall, choir was so much fun despite the lack of a Doors medley or even a Simon and Garfunkel option. We had arguments within our geeky ranks to include a branch of serious drama. Imagine small town teenagers tackling David Mamet or Eugene O’Neil. At least I was the Cowardly Lion and I am a sincere fan of Oz.

I had a phone call from my son maybe a year and a half ago where he confessed to giving in to a shameful temptation. He was so sure he could just blow it off but he indulged and got hooked on television’s Glee. Not something I’m watching – I used to be there for real.

Reinhardt lives in Boyle Street with his wife, Keri Breckenridge.

More in this issue

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Neighbourhood Views

  • Outdoor Way of the Cross – Due to the wet, cold weather on Good Friday, April 14, attendance was down at the annual Outdoor Way of the Cross from about 660 (in recent years) to only 300 at the peak. This year’s theme was “The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor are one” based on Pope Francis’s letter laudato si that notes that poor people pay the greatest price for our disregard of taking care of the environment. We walked for the first time west of 101 Street in the shadow of Rogers Place. Text: Jim Gurnett Photo: Michael Hoyt

  • Making Art, Making Smiles – Ann-Marie Johnson on her final day of watercolour art classes (April 3), offered by instructor Bruce in conjunction with Inner City Pastoral Ministries (ICPM) at Bissell Centre. Yovella M.

  • Treasures of Ukrainian Wood Carvings – This exhibit was featured at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall (106 Avenue and 98 Street) on April 1-2, 2017. It also included a fine art show and sale, as well as performances. Paula E. Kirman

  • Treasures of Ukrainian Wood Carvings – This exhibit was featured at the Ukrainian National Federation Hall (106 Avenue and 98 Street) on April 1-2, 2017. It also included a fine art show and sale, as well as performances. Paula E. Kirman

Around the Neighbourhood

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