A Turtle’s Tribute:
TCC Featured Member – August 2004 – Bass Section – Pat McCann
This month our most recent inductee as a TCC LIFE MEMBER, Pat McCann, is featured. Pat joined the
Chorale in September 1985. The story involves Don Essmiller, one of the TCC founders, who at that time served as the organist at Holy Trinity RC Church where Pat was playing and singing in the guitar mass choir. Don was hanging a poster for an upcoming TCC concert on a church bulletin board. Pat asked him about the TCC and said he wanted to audition, saying he was looking for something more substantial
than a church choir in which to sing. TCC seemed to fill the bill. Obviously it has done just that for the last 19 years.
In almost twenty years, Pat has served on numerous committees, some of which meet regularly and some sporadically. He has been a “big buddy” for several years, which has always been a joy. This is a sort of mentor/mentee relationship for anyone who is a New Member. And those who have been his
“little buddy” have expressed great appreciation over the years for Pat’s good guidance. Lately, Pat has been making CD versions of very old cassette recordings of some of the early concerts, which will make the historic music files that much more valuable. Another interesting task undertaken not too
long ago was doing some translations on a Latin text for a piece yet to be composed.
When asked what his most memorable event was in his time with the Chorale, not one, but several thoughts came to mind for Pat. “First, the sheer emotion as a singer. Then recording and performing When We No Longer Touch is what I will remember most. But the shock I felt when Dr. Seelig presented me the Artistic Director’s Award and when I learned this year of my nomination as a “Life Member” were signal events as well.”
So, what would Pat tell a New Member?
“It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Get involved! That doesn’t mean burn out. It doesn’t mean
audition for everything. It doesn’t mean join every committee, but in an organization as large as ours, there is always something to do. You will be amazed at how much you can learn just sitting on a floor stuffing envelopes.”
Pat says he has always been a behind-the-scenes kind of member, if left to his own preferences. “It always amazes me, therefore, when newer members ask me for advice because I just don’t see myself in that
role of wisdom dispenser.” Nonetheless, this seems to point to a tremendous strength of the Chorale. This is an organization where the soloists and all the singers get a chance to shine in their own ways. It has certainly worked for Pat to view himself in this way and at the same time to be so honored for his
contributions over the years.
When Pat is not at the Chorale, he is a teacher. “And any teacher knows the job doesn’t end when the kids leave. So, mine doesn’t either. Also, I spend a lot of spare time working on genealogy projects.” In his household the landscape includes a multi-pet, two-musician whirlpool of mayhem. “If you want to see a very neat, superbly maintained, highly controlled, decorated to the max kind of home, do not visit Thom and me.” Both of them have teaching jobs and Thom has an opera career. There are two dogs, one cat, aquariums, a huge yard and many plants, so they rarely have time to kickback and relax. Pat continues optimistically, “But thin are getting better: it used to be three dogs and four cats. As a plus, there is always music in our
As the Turtle Creek Chorale begins our TWENTY-FIFTH SEASON, Pat is about to begin his 20th year with the TCC. “That’s a third of my life! Such was never my intention, but it has become a reality, without my really noticing it. TCC has been a constant in my life. In the last two years, the TCC has accorded me two
great honors; TCC has been a constant source of joy and personal fulfillment to me for those same 19 years. God willing, we will continue the relationship for some years to come!”