The musical selections for the 1975–6 season were selected with a historical focus to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial. Pastor Dick Myers accompanied the group and served as narrator for that season’s moving, thoughtful, patriotic selections, from Revolutionary War-era songs by William Billings to sacred harp and camp meeting music to the Hollies’ popular “He Ain’t Heavy.” This program and tour included performances at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, and the headquarters of the American Baptist Convention at Valley Forge, PA. It paid tribute to the University’s role in the nation’s bicentennial celebration, which culminated in a visit from Queen Elizabeth.
I was asked to rejoin the group to serve as narrator for the 1976–7 season. After an intense discussion about some of the non-Biblical narrations, we settled on a series of introductions that offered some variety. The musical selections that year varied from words by e.e. cummings, Frost, and Shakespeare to music by Gershwin, Pachelbel, Vaughan Williams, and the University’s own former music faculty member, Randall Thompson. The illustration on the program cover for that year was drawn by Uni-Bap’s lawyer-artist Ed Lowry, famous in the choir loft for the illustrations he created during the sermon each Sunday morning!
In its time, Jubilate has given birth to marriages (beginning with Johnny James and Robyn Teates, and Vince and Sharon Wilcox), to professional musicians (Vince again), to ministers (Kim Nelson, Bonnie Dillon, Hunter Ruch, Spencer Broce, Melissa Hall Scott), and God knows who else. One notable early alum is Dale Peterson, recently retired chaplain at Yale and dean of students at Yale Divinity School.
For 40 years, Robby Gough has served as the tour manager and missed only one, in 1995, when he slipped on the ice just before that season’s tour and was replaced by Tom Mundell.
W.C. Keith was the faithful bus driver for numerous retreats until he sold his Waynesboro-based Trailways Bus franchise.
And alum Diane Weber Mundell has served a life sentence as treasurer and member of the Jubilate Alumni Board since its founding.