By Jack S.
On Tuesday, May 24, the chorus had the treat of performing for one more person. The judges at the North American Music Festival in Hershey, Pa. had heard the songs, the parents, students on Family Day heard them, and finally, The Family Singers had the chance to sing for former FFS principal and beloved friend, Robin Ducey.
Ducey isn’t just anybody who was interested in FFS’ musical talents. She has been involved in selecting the songs for chorus every year with Music Director Paul Geer. For the past 18 years, she has been an important help and support to the performing arts program at The Family School until she was diagnosed with cancer early in 2010.
Ducey, who was Betton House’s family leader with her husband Mike, took a seat on the couch in her living room as the entire chorus squeezed into her house in Callicoon, N.Y.. She greeted all of the students as they walked in.
Before they sang their first song, Soon Ah Will Be Done, a student asked Geer if they should sing “all out.” He responded comically, “O yes! Robin doesn’t care if her windows shatter!” Paul and both Mike and Robin Ducey worked at The Family School together for almost two decades and have been close friends since the day they met in Hancock.
Robin knew most of the songs and had a great comment to say after every one of them. “Great job baritones! That’s the best I have ever heard that song.” No matter what conditions Robin is in, she always seems to lighten the atmosphere.
As the show was coming to an end, Geer said, “Hold your horses Robin. There is one more song.” Just then, he put his fingers to the piano looked at the first soloist, Sam M, and smiled. At that moment, every chorus member knew what was coming. More emotions spilled out than anyone of them could handle. The final song was Lean On Me. Just as Sam did to his mom on Family Day, he sang his heart out to Robin Ducey. Sam brought tears to so many eyes that Robin couldn’t help but offer her praise and gratitude to them all at the end.
This event on that late afternoon was more than the performers were expecting. Many chorus members noticed how Mike was getting Robin water and looking out for her well-being. This taught the students that family is extremely important.
As the students were leaving, Robin stopped everyone and one last remark: “I can’t tell you how badly I needed this positive energy.”