excerpt from 'The memoirs of Alice Maud Chase' pp. 52-53 (396 words)

excerpt from 'The memoirs of Alice Maud Chase' pp. 52-53 (396 words)

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The memoirs of Alice Maud Chase

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I could not or I would not learn to play the piano. St Cecilia never smiled upon my Natal Day. [My sister] Ruby put me so much in the shade, I did not dare to venture. But I could sing. I could always sing. Even my father acknowledged that fact. Sometimes he took one of us to chapel with him and once I heard my mother ask him, “Which one will you take this morning?” and he answered, “I’ll take the little one—I like to hear her sing”. My mother never left me in any doubt of her opinion of my voice. As sure as fate, if I was having a good time singing my favourite hymn or song, she would shout out to me to “shut up that screeching”. Outside the home I had quite a few fans and have sung to the sick and dying and to the feeble-minded. 


Once in hospital I sang a little girl to sleep who was desperately ill with pneumonia. She asked me to sing ‘There’s a Friend for Little Children” and I did so two or three times over softly and still more softly until the Matron came and said to me, “It’s alright now, Mrs Chase, she has dropped off.” Next day the matron told me that I had undoubtedly saved her life. If she had not had that timely sleep, she would have died before the morning. So God used my voice and blessed it on that occasion. 


I sometimes wonder why my mother was so proud of Ruby’s playing and yet so despised my singing. It gave me an inferiority complex that it took me years to conquer. She liked other people’s singing, some of which was very far from good. It doesn’t matter now. I remembered my one neglected gift when I had children of my own. Each one had music lessons and singing lessons and got some pleasure out of them. Jamie was a choir boy and a good one. May profited most from the piano lessons and is very much in demand as an accompanist. Both girls were in the Girls’ Friendly Society choirs and sang in festivals. Only Robin and Gillian have no gift that way. 

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excerpt from 'The memoirs of Alice Maud Chase' pp. 52-53 (396 words)


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