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
When we think of All Saints and when we tell people about All Saints, we always say something about how great the music is. We know enough choir members so that we have another “read” on how much effort and preparation goes into what you and all the choirs undertake and the results achieved.
We have stayed behind to listen to the postlude, even though we might skip out if the forum is Kenny Turan. We have enjoyed dining with you at least twice at the fundraising galas. We are very sad to see you go, but can appreciate that it is a time for you to take on a new kind of control and freedom in your life in, of, and around music.
We hope that we will hear about opportunities to hear you play and/or direct in the future. We feel privileged to have gotten to know you a bit and to have had the blessings of your work for something like 18 years.
All our love and respect to you and Godspeed.
Hugh and MarleenHugh and Marleen Scheffyvia letter
I have been with you from the very beginning. I have watched you grow in all ways. Your music has always been superb.
I don’t know what I will tell people about All Saints. Before I would say you will find the holy spirit and music out of this world.
Our music is all kinds, but excellent musicianship. You will be sorely missed.
Yet, life is short and you do need to live your life to the fullest. We do need change.
Go forth with my love and blessings. Wishing you all the best on your new journey.
AlmaAlma Stokesvia letter
You have been such a blessing to us! I am grateful for your sharing your considerable musical talents, which have deeply enriched our worship these many years. I want to particularly thank you for continuing to bring new multicultural pieces to All Saints.
I wish you many blessings in this next path in your journey. Congratulations on your retirement.
Love and prayers,
KarenKaren Hayesvia letter
We wanted to leave you with a small note of gratitude for all the magnificent singing we have heard here over the past (almost) 30 years. You bring a joy to the congregants, and for many, the singing is the height of the service. To say that we will miss you is a sad understatement. To say that we wish you magic and joy as you leave is far truer.
The GouldingsThe Goulding familyvia letter
For 34 years you have spoken eloquently and from the heart with music and song. Today you spoke eloquently and from the heart with words, words as moving and as meaningful as anything we hear. Thank you.
For all those years you have given us or in some sense allowed us to hear the glory of God in so many ways: in solo and blended voices, in soft and gentle melody, in unexpected rhythm and language, and in soaring and joyous music. In music and song you have elevated worship, and in doing so elevated us.
You have a rare talent, a marvelous gift, something that like love can be shared freely without ever losing what you have. I am very grateful that you have chosen to share it with us for so long.
Now you are moving on. We will miss you; I will miss you. You have my fond regards, and best wishes for your new path. Thank you for everything — and you had better believe that yes, your are loved.Blaine Cavenavia letter
Wow! What incredible gifts you have given us with passion and love!
Thank you, James.
Thank you! Thank you!
Incredible to think of 34 years … I did not take it for granted.
Now you can go into the world … and they will LOVE you as we do!!Sandy Bieryvia letter