A Turtle’s Tribute:
Anne was The Creek Chorale’s principal accompanist from 1991 thru 1998. In addition, to being the principal accompanist, Anne composed and arranged music for TCC and many other Choruses. She has composed 8 pieces of music and arranged 244. Her legacy will remain forever.
Many of the members best remember Anne playing the principal roll of “Annie Sue” in the “Annie Sue’s Eat And Get Gas” skit in the “Holidays of the Future” Christmas Concert in December of 1995.
In 2004, TCC decided to create a new CD called “Annie’s Songs”. The members were asked to choose their favorite Anne song. The result is a 2 Disk CD. In the jacket of the CD, Tim wrote:
The year was 1989. The Turtle Creek Chorale was performing for an AIDS healing service at the Episcopal Cathedral, downtown Dallas. It was the height of the AIDS crisis and any hope offered was welcome. At the end of the service, a petite, bright, and perky woman approached me to say how much the service and the singing had meant to her. She said, in her thick Texas accent, “Hi, my name is Anne. I’m from Corsicana, Texas and I play the piano”. (It could have been worse if she had said, “And I write songs,” which of course she does.) She mentioned she was a friend of composer Jane Marshall and if we ever need someone to play, I should give her a call. We went on our way and she headed back to Corsicana and her life as THE piano teacher in town, organist/choir master at the Presbyterian Church and married to a banker.
Not long after that, a group began to meet with the intent of starting a women’s chorus in Dallas. When the topic of an accompanist came up, the bright, perky pianist from Corsicana jumped to mind, but I didn’t remember her name, just her charm and her accent. So I called Jane Marshall and described this mystery woman. She knew right away who it was and Anne got the call.
The rest is history. Not only was she every bit as bright and perky as she was at first sight, but a gifted artist both at the keyboard and, we were soon to find out, at arranging and composing. We had no idea that she would soon become the heart and soul of The Women’s Chorus of Dallas and “Mom” to the Turtle Creek Chorale. And we had no idea that the ‘perky’ was really mischief in disguise.
Anne began arranging music for the women as a way to help fit music perfectly to their sound. The first was “White Christmas.” Not long after that, she tried her had at male choral music. Her first arrangement for the TCC one again addressed the time in which we found ourselves, a medley including “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.” The arrangements fit both choruses like a glove.
Her spirit is in everything we sing. Her exquisite musicianship and magnanimous heart inspire us to continue to try to change the world with our music. She and her partner remain role models for each of us in every area of their lives. They are educators, they are friends, they are caregivers and they are both actually great Moms in the biological sense and the figurative sense.
We present this partial collection of all the gifts Anne has given our choruses. May your heart be touched by Anne’s as you share in her music and may your life be enriched, as ours, just by having known her.
Also in the CD jacket is this brief bio of Anne:
Anne Albritton received a Bachelor of Music degree from Southern Methodist University and A Mast of Music degree in Piano Performance and Theory/Composition from Northwestern University and Southern Methodist University. A significant portion of her professional career has been spent in the fields of teaching and church music. A great lover of musical theater, she was music director for numerous productions at the Warehouse Living Arts Center in Corsicana, Texas. She was the founding music director for Bravo Productions, a national touring company.
Anne served as Principal Accompanist of the Turtle Creek Chorale for six years and The Women’s Chorus of Dallas for twelve years. She continues to arrange and compose for both choruses and her work is commissioned by choral groups throughout the country. She is currently Director of Music at Lakewood United Methodist Church.
On Friday, October 13, 2006, Tim who was out of town, had to write probably the most difficult E-Mail ever. It expresses what we all feel:
As I had mentioned to you all on Sunday and Tuesday, I was afraid I would have to inform you of Anne’s passing via e-mail. I am sorry to have to do that. Anne made her transition yesterday, Thursday, around 6:00 p.m. We can all take great comfort in the fact that her ‘star’ was all ready for her!
We are all so fortunate to have shared in the gifts she gave so freely: her music, her humor, her heart and soul.
Annie had a long struggle and obviously didn’t want to leave us behind. But in the end, she was peaceful. I feel so fortunate to have spent Wednesday afternoon with Trigger and with Anne. I go to hold her hand again and tell her how loved she was. Trigger, as always, is a rock.
Please remember Annie Sue’s family and friends – and especially Trigger – October 15 was to be their 17th Anniversary. They had the loves of their lives. And they knew it. Anne leaves a huge circle of family and friends – including all of us. She will live on in our memories and through her music for a long, long time.
OBITUARY – Dallas Morning News – October 16, 2006
ALBRITTON, ANNE ROBERTS January, 26, 1940 – October 12, 2006. Anne a lifetime student of music, enjoyed the riches of teaching, composing and arranging music and musicals. She was the church organist and choir director at St. John’s Episcopal Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church in Corsicana, and Lakewood United Methodist Church in Dallas. Anne also
accompanied The Turtle Creek Chorale and The Women’s Chorus of Dallas. For three years she was the assistant to the Head of St. John’s Episcopal School in Dallas. Born in Amarillo, Texas, she later called Corsicana and Dallas home. Anne’s family includes Mrs. Margaret Roberts; Mike and Karen Albritton and their children Caleb, Ben and Matthew; John Albritton and Jennifer Garner; Julie Kelly and her daughter Maggie; Trigger Butler, Elaine Roberts; and Oliver and Helen Albritton. Anne’s extended family includes the men, women and children of her neighborhood and the City of Dallas, throughout the State of Texas, and all across the United States Who listen, play and sing her music. A celebration of Anne’s life and music, a service of Worship and the Holy Eucharist will be held at 4PM, November 12, 2006 at Lakewood United Methodist Church, 2443 Abrams Rd., Dallas, TX 75214. For sixty-six years Anne’s life and music filled our hearts and souls. Her music will stay alive with gifts made in her name to the Lakewood United Methodist Church Organ Fund, The Turtle Creek Chorale, The Women’s Chorus of Dallas, and St. John’s Episcopal School. Anne and her family give their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Anne’s friends, caregivers, nurses and physicians. “All of you have blessed my life with friendship, care and compassion.”
From Janey Hall in, Atlanta, GA – Friday, September 13, 2006 at 8:01p (CST)
Annie Albritton was such a brilliant musician and wonderful friend to so many of you there in the TCC. I can’t imagine Your grief upon learning of her passing. A lovely light upon this earth has left us….however, there is another smiling star in our heavens, I am confident. I am so sad for our collective loss. I loved her, too. Your Sister, Janey Hall
From Scott Mathews, Richmond, VA – Friday, September 13, 2006 at 10:58a (CST)
As a five-year former member of TCC, I was grieved to hear about the recent passing of our long-time accompanist and composer/arranger, Anne Allbritton. “Annie” always lit up the room with her smile, and somehow managed to help Tim keep 240 guys singing on tempo and in tune. She’ll be one of those people who will never be forgotten as long as there is a Turtle Creek Chorale.
Your may send condolence messages to her partner Trigger Butler at 9424 Mercer, Dallas, Texas 75228