Highland Park, MI, High School Concert Choirs, 1954-1969

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This memory of Gretchen Fogel '66 was written by Dr. Clifford Larkins '67 as a tribute to Gretchen. You can read the tribute below, or if you click on one of the links, you can read relevant information and hear Gretchen sing.

picture of Gretchen Fogel '66

Gretchen Fogel, Soprano, '66,

                                       A tribute to Gretchen Fogel, Soprano, '66,
                                             Written by Clifford Larkins '67

One of my main objectives when I started the HPHS choir project was to find Gretchen Fogel '66, tell her how brilliant I thought she was, and let her hear the proof. I am so happy that I was able to accomplish my objectives before she died. Gretchen was in the 1964, 1965, and 1966 concert choirs. She was also a member of the honors quartet and was awarded numerous solos, two of which can be heard on our HPHS Choral CDs. In 1966, Gretchen won the Michigan High School Vocal Association soloist award with the performance of “Exsultate Jubilate” by Mozart. After high school she was awarded a scholarship to study voice at Oberlin College in Ohio. Over the years, long before I started the choir project, I often thought of Gretchen. In my adult years I couldn't understand why I hadn't seen and heard her on the professional concert stage. Apparently, this was not to be because she developed health problems early on in her life.

During my sophomore and junior years at HPHS, I was awe struck by Gretchen's powerful presence and magnificent voice. She was a big girl, and she had a big voice. Furthermore, she took singing seriously. By the time she was a senior, she was so imposing to me that she seemed like one of Wagner's Valkyries. She was our own Brunhilde. In our effort to keep up with her excellence, the other members of the choir were all lifted to a higher level of performance. When you sang with Gretchen you just took a deep breath, gabbed onto her choir robe, and were then lifted to a level of performance you never thought you could attain. I personally credit Gretchen with the success of the 1967 HPHS concert choir. We all wanted to be like Gretchen, and we aspired to be a good as Gretchen. Gretchen Fogel, we will miss you.

                                                                With Love,

                                                                Clifford Larkins, Ph.D. HPHS, '67

Relevant links

Read Gretchen's Obituary

Hear Gretchen in, 1965: "I Attempt From Love's Sickness To Fly", by Henry Purcell

Hear Gretchen in senior year, 1966: "Alleluja, Exsultate Jubilate", by Mozart
Music file is in MP3 format.

Dr. Clifford Larkins, Ph.D., web site and project manager
        e-mail: aharris1@emich.edu