Bob Lind, Published September 27 2012
Neighbors: 2nd chance at choir leads to lifelong love of singing
But at first, the choir’s director, Alf Berg, had bad news for Lee’s dad.
“Mr. Berg told my father,” Lee writes Neighbors, “that I was tone deaf and wouldn’t be able to sing – ever.
“My father had a beautiful tenor voice,” Lee says, so, “dismayed, he pleaded with Mr. Berg to let me try. So I was given a chance.
Young Lee was told to sit next to Alf Berg’s eldest daughter, Annette, and sing soprano, because his voice hadn’t changed yet. “Mr. Berg instructed me to listen very carefully and try to do whatever Annette did.
“I learned melody from Annette, but my voice was changing ever so slightly, so I was moved to alto and instructed to sit next to the director’s second daughter, Ramona. The same instructions were given, and I learned harmony.
“A bit later, my voice made its full change and I was moved to tenor and seated next to (Alf’s) son No. 2, Wendell. He taught me tenor and a different kind of harmony
“The only regret I have,” Lee says, “is that I never got to sit next to the eldest son Duane and learn to sing bass; my voice just never got that low.
“At any rate, the Berg family brought the beauty of music to our little church and a lifelong love of singing for me.”
The Aal church recently held its final official service after a 140-year existence. But here, thanks to Lee and the Berg family, is a story from it that really sings.
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