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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000690.txt from 1997/09

From: avrahm galper <>
Subj: Jack Fetherston,a friend
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 16:01:12 -0400

Jack Fetherston (by someone who knew him well)

Jack will always be remembered by those who knew him. He was a "good"
guy. Always did the right thing. Never did anything out of malice.
There are always orchestral players who are remembered by some
idiosyncrasy or other.
In the Toronto Symphony there was a trombone player, Alfie Wood, who
always played a sixth in any chord we would play. It was funny.
There was another player, Harry Bergart, who was also a contractor.
Whenever the phone rang in the musician's lobby everyone would say "Its
Harry Bergart"

Even now, Harry having being dead for about 15 years, whenever the
phone rings at home, and we don't know who might be calling, we say it's
Harry Bergart!

Jack Fetherston was such a person. Having started out on violin himself,
(his Father having been a violinist and a player with the Toronto
Symphony,) Jack would often prelude on certain Bach pieces.
The violin players were always amused. He did it when they were passing
Whenever one of the rotund bass players passed by, he would play "The
Teddy Bears' picnic".

The other thing that he was noted for was the way he would warm up on a
clarinet solo and purposely end up with a wrong note.
One of the bassoon players wrote a medley full of Fetherstonisms which
was played at an orchestra party
He was very helpful. During one concert, we were playing the Masquerade
Suite by Khatchaturian, when suddenly a wave of nausea came over me.
Jack said to me that I was looking green and I asked him to play the
cadenza, which he did admirably.
Having been a pilot during the war on a Lancaster bomber, gave him a lot
of cool headedness. That was the quick response in the story about the
mouthpiece cap.
The story of forgetting the clarinet. That can happen to anyone but we
were good friends and it was only proper that since he was playing first
clarinet I would give him the right clarinet at the proper time.

As I said at the outset there are always people who are remembered by
something they did. His was good things to remember by.
He was a heavy smoker. Unfortunately, that did him in at the end. No
ack-ack fire or other planes shooting at his bomber. Lung cancer!
We'll always remember Jack Fetherston.

Avrahm Galper

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