A Turtle’s Tribute:
Wayne Davis has been a member of the Turtle Creek Chorale for 21 seasons staring in 1989.
In His Own Words: Featured Member – September 01, 2007
He has served the chorus in various capacities during his time with us, including two terms as president from 1993 to 1995. When asked about his reasons for joining the TCC, Wayne, who is himself a choir director, replied, “Joining the Chorale was an act of coming out for me. I had a friend who suggested it (a straight woman), and I knew a couple of guys in the chorus. I attended a concert and was hooked.”
Wayne said that his first concert, in what was then the recently opened Myerson Symphony Center, was among his most memorable experiences during his years with the TCC: “It was the first TCC concert ever in the Meyerson. It was also my initial Chorale concert. I didn’t sleep much the night before or the night after. I was completely enamored by the building and the sense of musical presence in the building. I can remember the first Meyerson “ring” (the distinctive acoustic resonance) at the end of My Eternal King by Jane Marshall.” During Wayne’s time with the chorale, there have been many pieces commissioned especially for the TCC, and Wayne recalls the powerful experience of singing the premiere of When We No Longer Touch at the GALA festival in Denver in July of 1992. “We had just lost Kris Anthony, the composer of the work, and a personal friend. We were also under terrific pressure to be more “out” as a chorus. We were afraid of protests at our GALA concerts. Instead of protesting, the audiences were really blown away by the piece. We were moved by the work and response it generated, moved beyond belief. “
In addition to his two terms as President, Wayne served on the Turtle Creek Chorale’s Board of Directors from 1992 through 1995. He has served on several committees during his years with the chorus as well. Wayne observes, “I have tried to help the organization as much as I can.”
For new chorale members, Wayne offers this advice to help ensure that no one feels overwhelmed by all of the opportunities and activities that the Chorale offers: “I would suggest taking the commitment to the Chorale one step at a time. I would be very cautious about over-commitment. Of course, every person is different and has individual talents and capabilities, but I have seen members burn out quickly when they try and do too much. Remember that the Chorale struggled but managed to stay in existence before you were a member!” He also notes, “Attendance at rehearsals is, of course, critical.” And, recognizing that the chorus can offer more than just music, Wayne suggested, “Doing outside social functions, such as parties and major events as The Alan Ross Freedom Parade, are great ways to get to know the people in the Chorale”.
Outside of the Chorale, Wayne is an ESL teacher at Mountain View College, and he is the music director at Oak Cliff’s venerable Trinity Presbyterian Church. When he is needed, he assists local pipe organ builder Karl Boettecher in the creation and installation of these magnificent instruments. Another of Wayne’s enduring passions is automobiles. (If your car is making a funny noise, take Wayne to ride along for a test drive!!! He owns a 1949 Packard touring car, and is an active member of The Classic Chassis Car Club.
Wayne sums up his reason for his long association with the Turtle Creek Chorale with these thoughts: “I am single and unfortunately have lost most of the members of my immediate family over the last ten years. In a very important way, the Chorale is a major part of my family life, along with my church family and other friends.
“I am a Terrapin. That doesn’t mean I’m a crusty old turtle that doesn’t want or need new people in my life. In fact, I see the job of the Terrapins as the theme of this season. As we head into our “Generation to Generation” season I think of myself as being in the Chorale to help preserve it for the future. That means reaching out to help people feel welcome. I hope to make every one of our new Turtles feel valued and recognized. This way, its not just some old guys and some younger folks.
“The Turtle Creek Chorale is a family in some real sense of the word, a family of choice where the older members have an important part to play, and the younger members come and bring renewal to us on a constant basis.”
From Gary Kearns:
It is with deep sadness that I inform you of the death of Wayne Davis. Wayne had been struggling with various health issues for some time and passed into eternal life on Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Wayne joined the chorale in 1989 singing for 21 seasons. During this time, he served the chorus in various capacities, including two terms as President from 1993 to 1995 and President of the Terrapins in 2010. Wayne not only served faithfully in leadership roles but also sang with Chamber Chorus. In 2013, he was inducted as a TCC Life Member.
I have the utmost respect for his service and commitment to the chorale. He was always willing to share an opinion, give advice or just listen. He was so proud of his status as past President and I know on numerous occasions I actually asked for his advice. Kidding aside, he was a tremendous resource for me and other Presidents and was a valued member of the organization serving in so many ways.
I was reading through a featured member article on Wayne in which he made a comment about “not” being a crusty old turtle. It gave me a chuckle because I would often tell him jokingly that he was a crusty old turtle but an old turtle that we loved and respected.
Along with his church, Wayne considered the chorale to be his family. We will honor him always as our brother in song.
As details on the arrangements for his services become available, we will share them with you.