Message from John Hobbs

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Dear Sally, Committee Members and All SDC Members,

There is so much for me to thank you all for! I would love to write to you all individually, but so many of you have been involved in the wonderful presentations you have made for me that I apologise for resorting to this method of conveying my gratitude to the greatest number in the shortest space of time.

First of all, thank you for a splendid concert on Saturday 7 December. You were always comfortably on top of this work and I sensed you shared my enjoyment of what I consider to be one of Handel’s finest masterpieces! The final collaboration with our exceptional soloists and orchestra drew the very best from you and you entered into the drama of the work with great enthusiasm and musicianship. It is always very rewarding for a conductor to hear his interpretations of a composer’s brainchild performed faithfully on the day and to such good effect, as reflected in the many appreciative comments received afterwards from members of the audience. Well done and thank you for making the rehearsal period such an enjoyable time.

Now I offer you my heartfelt thanks for the post-concert reception, held in my honour, and the many warm tributes received:-

…for the amazingly generous collection you have raised on my behalf, which will probably be spent on replacing a substantial, but dead hedge on our entrance drive. This is currently of a type of evergreen which does not tolerate the severe trimming it has experienced in the past, and which Margaret and I would like to replace with a much more robust and attractive beech hedge. It is quite a major job, but, when completed, we will be able to look at it every day and reflect on the pleasures of our association with the South Devon Choir. I have often wondered what a Hedge Fund was; now I have my very own. Thank you!

…for the wonderful “Book of Memories” which you have so lovingly compiled. I have only managed to skim through it so far, but have already spotted some very clever poems, some most moving tributes, some amazing sketches, a crossword puzzle and many lovely photographs, including one of me, aged 38, with hair and dark as well! When the Christmas rush is over, Margaret and I will enjoy studying this volume at our leisure and recalling past events and old friends, for that is what you have become over the past twelve years. Thank you!

…for the welcome refreshments after a busy day of music-making together, and especially that magnificent cake. I have never experienced

Johns Retirement Cake
Johns Retirement Cake

a cake that one can sing first, and to my favourite chorus – “Tune your harps!” We are still marvelling at how this was achieved and are loth to cut into it, but, if we don’t, I shall go hungry and that will never do, so another huge slice of Thanks!

Finally, I want to tell you that it has never felt a chore to drive down to Torquay on a Thursday evening. I have thoroughly enjoyed the main object of our liaison, the musical performances, but, even greater than this has been the friendship which you have all so generously afforded me. When the musical memories have faded, the personal memories will be everlasting, ably assisted by your lovely Book. I am delighted that, in the roles of President and sometime soloist, our contact will be maintained and I look forward to catching up with all your news on those occasions when I make the trip south. That said, Margaret and I would love to welcome you to our new home,  which is midway between Torrington and Barnstaple (ask a committee member for the actual address, please),. RHS Rosemoor is only about 20 mins away, should you feel like making a day of it.

Thank you all once again for twelve glorious years and every good wish for the future of the South Devon Choir under Simon, who I know you will take to your hearts.

With love from Margaret and myself,


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