Gearing Up for Summer… Already!

Feb 21, 2014 | 1 comment

Bill and Dale Little

Dale and Bill Little, circa 1980

Following in my mother’s footsteps here on the Peninsula (or almost anywhere else that she preceded me) is not an easy task.  But, I learned at an early age that about most things in life, my mother knew best.  So it is that every January, I begin the rather arduous task of planning for summer vespers.

My folks began our Oysterville Summer Vesper series in 1979 when my mother was 68 years old.  By the time she was 80, she began to feel the need for help with the scheduling and used that powerful ‘Mom Card’ that all of us daughters (and mothers) know about.  Gradually she ‘let me’ take more and more responsibility and here we are in the year of our lord 2014 and me at 78 and without a daughter in sight planning for next summer’s Vesper service.  YIKES!

When I first agreed to ‘assist’ in this endeavor, I thought it was a bit of planning overkill that mom began her scheduling in January.  It seemed way early to make arrangements for programs that didn’t begin until mid-June.  But, I was quickly disabused of that notion.

Gwen and Bradley, Encore

Gwen Haw and Bradley Huson, 2013 Vespers

“I always start with the choir directors,” she said.  “Find out which Sunday is best for them.”  It took a while for the penny to drop.  The larger the group, the more time choosing a date takes.  Call the choir director in January.  He or she proposes a couple of dates to the choir at their next rehearsal.  Choir members go home and check with spouses. Choir members report back at their next rehearsal.  Maybe there needs to be some re-thinking… and so on.

When there is more than one choir to approach, of course, the scheduler (that would be me) dast not ask more than one director at a time to choose a date because, sure as shooting, they will come up with the same date and now the process is stalled for negotiations!  It doesn’t take long for January to fade into February and then it’s almost March!  Like now.  YIKES some more.

Happy 96th!

Happy 96! Sydney and Dale, 2007

But, I’m pleased to announce that of the twelve summer Vesper Sundays for 2014, I already have all but two firmly booked by some amazing musical groups and soloists.  And I have at least three of the Sundays scheduled with regard to the participating ministers.

I’d like to take full credit for this scheduling phenomenon, but I really cannot.  Musicians have actually come to me proposing dates. For the last two summers, one of our primary choir directors, for instance, has nabbed me at the end of their Vesper performance in June – right there in church while I’m still putting away the hymnals! – and has set a date for the following year!

Even with more and more musicians offering their talents of Vespers, January is starting month for me.  I have had more than enough experience to know that, in the matter of Oysterville Vespers, anyway, my mother was absolutely right.  I can only wish for other folks in the booking biz that they had a mother/mentor as wise as Dale Espy Little!

1 Comment

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Looking forward yo vespers on Oysterville! Love the picture of you with you mom. Thanks for continuing your mother’s important contribution to the community.


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