In the months since I started Avtp it has been fascinating to see which posts draw the most interest. It’s quite an understatement to say that there have been a few surprises.
One of the posts which has had a tremendous readership from all over the world which has stayed high for nearly six months is the one about David Gedge’s stroke, “Thoughts for a friend.”
My initial description of David as a musician whose work had touched many, many lives through his work has been more than borne out by the many hits and comments that the post has drawn.
So, today we had our annual Christmas update from David and Hazel, and I wanted to pass on some of their news and offer a quick update on his recovery.
As you regular readers will remember, David had a stroke on stage while conducting the very end of Haydn’s Creation. In his own words, it was “those who weren’t watching the conductor who were the last to stop.” It has been a very long and hard road to recovery, but he has returned to work on a part time basis, conducting a Gwent Chamber Orchestra concert in late October, and has been taking some recent rehearsals with the Cathedral Choir. He’s now been officially cleared for work, and will begin a gradual return to his regular work before conducting a final series of concerts at Easter, which will be his last as the conductor of the Brecon Cathedral Choir and the Gwent Chamber orchestra before retiring.
In the midst of his recovery, David and his wife Hazel final received some very, very, very well-deserved recognition from the Church of England for their many years of service to the community. David and Hazel were the first couple ever selected by the Archbishop of Canterbury to receive the Cross of St Augustine. The award celebrates their shared work at Brecon Cathedral, where David is now the longest-serving Master of the Choristers in the UK.
The first volume of David’s autobiography “A Country Cathedral Organist Looks Back” was released in early 2006- he’s been delaying the publication of Volume 2, but says he keeps having to add to the ending.
c. 2006 Kenneth Woods