Newsletter 4th November 2020
A tribute to Sarah from her close friends Andrea and Jill
Our friend Sarah joined Cirencester Choir on the same day as we did in 2012; three nervous novices, or the three Musketeers as we came to call ourselves. Despite Sarah’s pedigree musical background (she was a gifted violinist) and love of choral music, she was characteristically modest about her own abilities, but it soon became apparent to all who sang near her, that she did not need to be.
A perfectionist with a fine, true voice, Sarah prepared unbelievably thoroughly for every concert, even learning her music in hospital, for what sadly turned out to be the last concert we all attended together. No one knew the effort it cost her, looking as she did, her usual statuesque, stunning self, annoyed when she felt she could have sung better…. that was Sarah. Chemotherapy just got in the way of rehearsals, performances and life generally. Always positive, non-complaining and with a gentle humour… she taught us a thing or two about courage.
Of course, Sarah’s family meant everything to her. She was never happier than when she was away sailing with Alan and her boys, arriving back for the first autumn rehearsals looking wonderfully healthy and tanned, thrilling us at coffee break with her tales of adventure.
Music was always Sarah’s passion though. She would often send us snippets of glorious singing she’d heard that had reduced her to tears, wishing like us, that as a choir we could deliver something similar. Oh the chats over coffee we had about that!
Last year, Sarah bought us tickets for a Voces8 concert. Looking at our friend in the candlelight, at her sheer delight at OUR delight, we knew she was irreplaceable.
I think finally, it was the rendition of the St John Passion where Sarah had her happiest moment with the choir, we had finally done ourselves justice and she was satisfied. Ruhr wohl, dear Sarah.
Here are links to two pieces of music that were particularly special to her:
Sarah received care from this charity which enabled her to spend her last days at home with her family who have set up this Just Giving link in memory:
Tributes by Members
Sarah was such a wonderful person – always so friendly and helpful – simply such a lovely lady.
She had a smile and a nice word for everyone and had that rare ability to make everyone feel liked. I am so sorry for her family – what a loss.
Sarah was always so positive and supportive of everything that we did together and determined not to let her illness stand in the way. She set a great example to us all and we will miss her hugely when we are able to get back to singing again.
I just wanted to say how sorry and saddened I am to hear about Sarah. I didn’t know her well but as you’ll know she sat behind me and so I could hear her lovely voice! She was always so positive and cheerful despite her long illness and the treatment she was having. Please do pass on my deepest sympathy to her family.
She was always very friendly to me and as she had worked with disabled people had a good understanding of disabled people and their problems.
Many of us at CCS feel privileged to have sung with Sarah and to have been counted among her friends and we will miss her so much.
I am very sad to hear that Sarah has died after living so bravely with cancer. She was a loyal and enthusiastic singer and a pillar of the sopranos. She will be much missed by her fellow choristers. My sincere sympathy goes to her family and friends at this distressing time.
A Tribute to Sarah’s Courage and Fortitude
She was the bravest and the best –
In death she found eternal rest.
She battled long that she might live –
but in the end she could not give.
Her spirit shone through all the pain,
when it came deep again and again.
The bell tolled its mournful blast,
as she breathed her very last.
The angel then on swifted feet, took her spirit
then to meet her new life without a sigh –
where she lives and does not die,
without the pain without a cry,
above the blue and vaulted sky.
Originally written January 2016, for a relative who battled against stomach cancer for nine years. The sentiments expressed could be seen so easily in Sarah’s wonderful attitude and determination.
Mary Ludbrook Nov 2020