As we travel around the world on tour, we touch and in turn are touched by many people’s lives. Often it’s a fleeting moment; two hours on the concert platform and then back to daily life, but occasionally a deeper relationship springs up that can last for years, even decades.
One such deeper relationship began when in the 1970s a man named Jerry Fischer came across from the USA with his wife, Cathie, to live in the UK and work for a few years. Jerry came to know of the KS and made it his mission, along with his brother Ken, to help kickstart the group’s career in the USA. It’s no exaggeration to say that without their help in promoting (often at large personal risk) the group’s early concerts in Washington DC, and Detroit, The King’s Singers may not have cracked the US as early as they did. A huge part of our career might never have existed in the same way.
Since then, successive generations of singers have grown to know and love the Fischer family. Their kindness and generosity has been ever-present, resulting in the commissioning of new works, valued fellowship and support, and long-lasting friendships. So when we heard, a few years back, that Jerry Fischer was suffering from cancer, the group rallied round with many hundreds of others (such was the esteem in which Jerry was held) to offer support and comfort during his long battle.
Sadly, Jerry recently lost that battle, but not before the group had the chance to perform in Orchestra Hall in Jerry’s presence one last time, on Valentine’s Day this year. We sang in support of the Frauenschuh Cancer Center in Minneapolis, the place that had cared so well for Jerry, and raised money and awareness for the valuable work they do. It was wonderful to see so many of Jerry’s family and friends there in support, and the evening was one to remember. In a small way, this was how we could recognise over 30 years of support and love from the Fischer family.
This Saturday, a Memorial Service will take place honouring Jerry, his life and work. We are unable to be present as we’re touring in Germany, but our hearts and thoughts will be there with his family, wishing him well on his final journey, where he is no doubt surrounded by music.