Saturday, October 23, 2004

Goodbye My Dear Friend, Anne

Anne Marie Monaco
1957 – 2004


Today, a day full of many tears !

Together with 150 other friends and colleagues we paid tribute to my long dearest friend Anne Marie Monaco.

A memorial service had been organized by some close friends of Anne at the Jackman Studio at the Canadian Opera Company’s Tannenbaum Centre.

When I entered the room I was overwhelmed by the effort that went into creating a really wonderful tribute to Anne. The room, a large rehearsal hall, was decorated in large floral arrangements donated by the COC orchestra and the Canadian Ballet Company orchestra. The 2 orchestras Anne was a long time member of. In the middle of the room about 150 chairs set up. On the right some tables set up with hundreds of pictures from photo albums, a table set up with all sorts of awards Anne had won over the years, her Queen’s University Bachelor of Music Degree and many other memorabilia.

Beside the table a large film screen where later at the end of the service Steve Mitchell, Annes first boyfriend will be screening his video tribute to Anne. Beside the screen, a lovely picture of Anne, and her Horn ! I was shocked to see her horn. I know that horn so well, and seeing it made me sad that she was not there to play on it. She loved playing so much.. Anne was all about the horn. The one thing she could count on to make her happy and satisfied was her horn and making music.

On the left side of the room was a speaking podium again some beautiful flowers, and then 2 large tables with food and drinks for a post reception.

Once everyone was more or less settled down and said there hellos the afternoon program begun with Howard Cable conducting the Hannaford Street Silver Band with “Nimrod”, From the Enigma variations, Opus 36 by Edward Elgar. While listening to this , the music just hit the right spot, and my waterworks started. I was overwhelmed and very sad for this tragedy ! Why Anne.. why were you so determined to end it all ! so Sad So very sad !

After the beautiful playing, Cynthia Woods, Executor of the Estate and will, gave her introduction and Greetings. Then some beautiful words and memories by Howard Cable, to which Anne was a great friend with for many, many years, she even worked for him, completely re-organizing his vast music Library. Following his kind words, the Hannaford played and new piece by Howard, “ I’ll Follow” with a nice alto horn solo in it, played by Linda Bronicheski.

We then heard Leslie Magowan from the Essex Winds tell us her wonderful stories and experiences with Anne. The Essex winds was very dear and close to Anne’s heart. The Quintet did travel a lot around the world and in its hay days, the 90’s ,it did very well. The Essex winds was formed from principal players that were members of the Windsor Symphony, to which Anne was principal horn in Windsor for many years. After Leslies memories, I sat in and played along with the Essex Winds. We played the “ Andante’ from a Beethoven Quartet arranged for winds. I was very honoured that the quintet had asked me to play in Anne’s place. The piece we performed ( for, by the way, a room full of horn players) had a very nice horn solo and was a pleasure to play and play with Anne totally in my mind ! my tribute to her, as well as I could !

After the quintet performed, Anne’s brother, Sergio got up and thanked everyone for organizing this memorial and told us all about what it was like to grow up with a horn-playing sister.

Finally at the end, Steven Mitchell talked to us about his experiences with Anne. Steve was Anne’s first and longest boyfriend. They were High School sweethearts, and for 10 years. Steve is now a professional video and film producer, and as his tribute to her was in the form of a still picture slide show with music. A history of Anne in still pictures. It was wonderful and he did an absolutely amazing job with this piece. The nicest thing any one could have done for Anne.

After the film, there was a lot of sniffing and crying in the hall, me included. We then all got up and made our way over to the refreshment table, by that time I needed a stiff drink, but alas only coffee was available. I got to speak to a lot of friends and music colleagues that I had not seen in a long, long time. Some as much as 20 years ago !

Anne knew and was friends with a lot of people over the years, and many of us had not met each other and now because of this, finally we got to all meet each other. A really nice gesture resulting from such sad circumstances !

1 comment:

ineke said...

a beautiful telling of a tragic tale. thank you for playing so beautifully in Anne's chair.