Meet a Chorister -
John McIntyre (baritone)
Profession: Retired French teacher
Why do you sing? Singing has always been a large part of my life and my family. In church, my father sang bass, I sang tenor. I sang in a quartet in high school. My wife Marie and I, now nonagenarians, took high school kids and our own children to France for 15 years. We each drove a 9-passenger van and sang rounds with the kids in English and French. The French were puzzled: were we all one enormous family? My daughter Jenny blithely told everyone we were: some of the kids were mine, some Marie’s, some both of ours. Jenny now sings in the Beaconettes in Seattle; my son David sings songs he composed on guitar. My grandson Dexter manages an experimental music composer.
Do you play any instruments? Piano, though I hated performing and hid under the piano at the recital. I played trumpet with a group of friends in high school – the Jive Five – until I blew my lips out. In college I played string bass.
Fondest GCS memories? When GCS performed a concert at the Chartres Cathedral in 2000, we faced the western wall with the rose stained-glass window behind the audience. As the concert progressed, we watched the sun set and the sky darken through the window. Thirty of us then went on to Le Mont-Saint-Michel, where we did an impromptu concert of Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus.” Much to our surprise, a group of pilgrims hovered outside. One man thanked us for our singing and for liberating his country 55 years earlier. It was a very touching moment.
Other interests? For the last 15 years, I’ve taught English as a second language to a dozen students. I still tutor a half dozen via Zoom, mostly native Spanish speakers, but one Senegalese Muslim woman whose native language is Wolof.