Two old friends of the group have died recently.
Neil Richardson and Hugues Cuénod.
Amongst many pieces, Neil arranged four songs on our album A Tribute to Hollywood, one with piano, one with string quartet and two with brass quintet; Everybody's Talkin' At Me, Cavatina, As Time Goes By & Evergreen all glorious sumptuous arrangements which suit us so well. A lovely man, he provided so many 'easy' sounds for the radio over the years [tho' many of us know just how hard it is to keep those standards high!]... String Sound was a favourite BBC Radio 2 programme of mine when I was growing up and he did it all. He also had 'Maestro' in his email address... a wonderful touch for such a modest chap. Perhaps he should have added 'Mastermind' too.... (as he wrote the theme!)
As to Mr Cuénod, he coached Mike and also the group in the singing of Poulenc, and was a great support. My abiding memory of him, is as a straight-backed, tall 99 year-old, who came to see us at Thèâtre Boulimie, Lausanne a few years back. My wife had our very young son backstage throughout the concert, so there was a 99 year gap between the oldest and youngest in the building.... not sure that will be repeated in a hurry. He managed to get to the splendid age of 108. Well, he did make his debut at the Met at the tender age of 84... still a record.
Sad losses to the musical world.