James, you’ve been such an important part of my life, I don’t want to lose you. However, I won’t cry because it’s over, but smile.Lu Wennekervia email
Dear, dear James,
And so here I am, all these years later, a more complete Elizabeth for having come to sing at All Saints. Your genuine care, support, encouragement, desire to make each note better and more musical than the last — all in an amazingly supportive and positive fashion has led me to places and performances I had never dreamed possible!
From the Gospel repertoire to the Renaissance pieces at Tenebrae, each has been so very special in its own wonderful way.
Tonight I am so thankful for the gift of music you have so generously shared with me, tearful that it has come to an end after all these years, and so very hopeful that our paths will continue to cross in so many ways… I do “get” it and know that you will take this next step knowing you have me, and I am certain the rest of us in Coventry at All Saints cheering, supporting and watching with great anticipation all you are going to do!
Dear friend, THANK YOU, both through music and conversation that you’ve shared with me over these 26 years. It has been a blessing in my life, and I am a better person because of it!
With love and appreciation,
ElizabethElizabeth Championvia letters
Words cannot express how incredibly grateful I am for this past year together. I am saddened to see you leave, but so extremely happy for you. This has been such an extraordinary year and so much of that is because of your wonderful leadership and faith in me. I have accomplished so much this year and attempted so many new things, and for that I will be forever thankful.
You will be deeply missed, but your presence clearly resonates with so many people at AS. I will do my all to help uphold the standard of excellence and specificity you demand.
Thank you again, and I look forward to when we can work together more in the future! Best of luck and best wishes.Kelci Hahnvia letters
We are saddened by your departure and can’t imagine Sunday mornings without your leadership. Your music has inspired us, comforted us and held us up for all the years we have attended. Many Sunday mornings, it was the music I didn’t want to miss. You are exceptional and I can’t imagine All Saints without you — it just won’t be the same.
Thank you for your many years of dedicated service, leadership and inspiration. I regret not showing my appreciation more often over the years.
We wish you all the best on the next step of your journey … please hold our gratitude with you always.
With every good wish,
Marianne, Daniel, Christopher and Carrie RyanMarianne Ryanvia letter
It’s been an honor to sing under you and learn from you. Thanks for sharing your talent. Best of luck on your next adventures!Gloria Beverst DeCostevia Facebook
Thank you for your soul-piercing, life-giving, grace-filled music ministry. You have been the only priest who has been at ASC since I have. I will miss your impact on my life!Deborah Lynne Ogden via Facebook
James, I can’t believe it’s been 26 years that I’ve had the privilege of working with you! I remember my audition as a very green bass-baritone singing a Vivaldi alto solo piece. I wasn’t the most able sight-reader at the time and brand new to California. You encouraged Ray Egan to hire me and my life was forever changed in so many ways. Your inspired leadership, loving guidance, impeccable musicianship, humor and friendship have made me the musician I am today. I’ve been so blessed to share in your ministry and learn by your example. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and I know you’ll bring your grace, patience and boundless spirit to the road ahead. I love you.Jim Campbellvia Facebook
…The job you have done over the last 34 years years is nothing short of amazing. It seemed to me that you got better EVERY year. Not many people in a job for over 30 years could say that. In the last few years you have focused on trying always to get us to another level, one where all the singers perform “as one.” I thought that the concert this year was spectacular and deeply satisfying (even though the men’s part in the Bernstein was devilishly difficult!).
I have never been one of your star choristers and I had a hard time with memorization in recent years. But I have enjoyed my 39 years in the choir so much and it has been such an important part of my life…
So, James, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! George used to say that life is a journey and not a destination. You have made my journey to this point so rich and fulfilling and contributed so much to making it that way, that saying “thank you” seems so insufficient and inadequate. Nothing I can say really will do the job, so all I can say is thanks.
I hope the rest of your musical career is as outstanding as I expect it to be, and I wish you great happiness and joy.
Much love from a thankful choir member,
RalphRalph Perryvia letter