The George Bragg Library

. . . from the "Director's Diary"

 

At Thanksgiving, 1972 (November-December 1972)

The season of Thanksgiving is a prelude to Christmas, just as gratitude is a prelude to greater blessings.

Our compliments go to Mr. Steve Stevens and the Resident Choirboys for the fine work and progress of the past six weeks. They carried on a tradition of excellence which is the hallmark of their antecedents and contemporaries. Especially do we appreciate their "poster" receptions upon our return home. Gifts of the spirit and heart are the greatest gifts.

Those of us who share in the work of The Texas Boys Choir know something of the kind of devotion of giving and receiving which must be part of the thinking of each boy and his family who participate and benefit in this "pursuit of excellence." The ones who receive the greatest blessings are the ones who give the most, who pay the greatest price for membership. Sometimes that payment is in the form of learning and progress, and sometimes it is discovering the truth about ourselves; sometimes it is learning to see ourselves as others see us; sometimes it is learning how to communicate with our fellow man; sometimes it is learning to have an open and contrite heart.

In traveling about the country, we meet all sorts and conditions of people. We come to see a great segment of the American concert-buying public. We never cease to be amazed at how readily they relate to the honest efforts of choirboys on tour. By the same token it is also intriguing to see how the Touring Choirboys relate to the honest efforts and progress of the Resident Choirboys here at home.

Art must be honest - else it is a sham. Effort must be honest - else it will diminish all. Success - all success - should be based on honest principles - else it will fail, and after it there will be a great vacuum than existed before the attempt.

Those first Americans who achieved the success of existence sufficient to having the first Thanksgiving had the joy of sharing the fruits of honest toil together.

Those Christians who with honest insight celebrate the ecstasy of Christmas throughout the year have the joy of Emmanuel - God with us.

There have been many unselfish persons who have blessed this organization since its inception. The Choir is greater and the experience is richer because of these gifts. We continue to feel the presence of their love and their good principles.

One of the great blessings of The Texas Boys Choir came years ago in the person of Mr. J. Spencer Cornwall, director emeritus of the Salt Lake City Tabernacle Choir, who had the courage in 1948 to extend the hand of friendship to The Texas Boys Choir and its director in giving guidance, instruction, and encouragement to a then small struggling band of hopefuls.

I have just received my yearly communique from him. I would like to share part of what he has to say - for two reasons - it is honest and it is beautiful.

"Life seems to be made up of a series of preludes, each

succeeding one being characterized by the one which precedes it.

This moment is a prelude to the succeeding one.

This hour is a prelude to one which follows.

This day is a prelude to another year.

And finally, this mortal life is a prelude to an immortal life

whose character is beyond finite comprehension but

through the ages has been a major theological question."

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