Bitgood family fun
Many of Roberta Bitgood's associates contributed sketches of their experiences with her over the years to her autobiographical book Swell to Great: Bitgood family fun selection of those reminiscences, together with some that have been newly written, will appear here on a rotating basis.
She is a church deacon and, prior to her retirement, operated a day care bitgood family fun her home for many years. It was in that Dr.
As I recall, our organist, Norma Branch, realizing that Dr. Bitgood was in the congregation, acknowledged her and her talents during our sharing of Joys and Concerns that Sunday. She concluded by inviting Dr. Bitgood to play the postlude bitgood family fun us, which she did with her special talent and usual aplomb.
That someone turned out to be Dr. Bitgood, who quickly became Roberta or "Dr. B" to those of us in the choir. During Roberta's tenure, our choir grew and participated in many ecumenical services and choir festivals in churches and synagogues on both sides of the Thames River. What a wonderful weekend that was. We would meet for choir rehearsals at the chapel on Thursday nights from 7 to 9 p.
One winter, due to the cold weather, cold chapel, and the fact that most of our members lived in the Great Neck area of Waterford, we decided to move our rehearsals to the home of Jim bitgood family fun Ethel Kyle on Great Neck Road. I remember that Roberta wasn't too happy with this arrangement because there were too many "easy" chairs for people to sit in.
Her feeling was that no one could sing well slouched down in an easy chair. One Sunday in October ofwe began our service at Harkness Chapel and, halfway through the service, migrated to our brand new building on Cross Road in Waterford. As I recall, there had been a brief period of tension between the pastor, Rev. John Webster, and Roberta as to whether or not we should enter the church with or without music. I can't remember just who won out, but no matter, it was a joyous day for all.
There was one occasion when we participated in a musical service there, singing in Hebrew. Roberta has generously shared the talent God gave her with the Adult Day Center that meets in our church building during the week. The clients of the Day Center still enjoy her playing. She has also played for our Presbyterian Women's evening meetings—playing "Happy Birthday" during coffee hour more times than she probably wants to remember.
There comes a time in all our lives when the responsibilities of work take on a rather "heavy" feeling, leaving frayed nerves and confusion. This occurred during Roberta's leadership of the choir. Some changes became necessary and they were made. For a short period, Roberta became our accompanist at choir rehearsals and Madelyn Shafer took on the responsibilities of choir director.
This arrangement was, I believe, rather painful for Roberta. It was decided after a discussion with Roberta and her daughter, Bitgood family fun, that she would be our organist only, and she performed gracefully in this capacity for another two years.
Subsequently it was discovered that Roberta was suffering from the effects of macular degeneration, and so it was in April of that she decided to retire for the third time in her life.
In October ofwe were blessed to hear Roberta, John Anthony, and Mike Noonan in an organ recital at Crossroads, followed by a reception. Needless to say, she was never "stumped. There is no one who can replace Roberta—her talent, her unique personality, and her many interesting tales of years past as she cut her niche in what had been pretty much a male profession.
We miss her greatly. During her tenure at Crossroads, I was privileged to have Roberta become one of my very dearest friends. We bitgood family fun many Thursday evenings at BeeBee's Dairy having supper before choir rehearsal.
And Roberta, always the swimmer, was a frequent visitor to our home and pool on Great Neck Road. It was always a pleasure to include her, and her family, in our various family celebrations. She bitgood family fun given bitgood family fun a deeper awareness of the joy of classical music—which I will always associate with her.
After Dan retired from his college teaching post in Michigan, they went to the Phillippines in and taught for four years at Silliman University. They go back periodically, but spend most of their time bitgood family fun Michigan in order to be with their twenty-six grandchildren. We have two fond memories of Roberta that stand out.
In her farewell recital at the Congregational Church in Battle Creek, she played some American music from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Before the last piece in the group, she apologized for the music in her own amusing way, saying that her friends laugh about this corny music with so many diminished seventh chords. As usual, Roberta was ahead of her time, because now this music is back in fashion and played a lot.
Bitgood family fun whole toccata bitgood family fun based on a diminished seventh chord! Bitgood family fun was all I could do to keep from laughing aloud over that circumstance, and the placing of the works on the program one after the other.
Roberta returned a couple of years later to give a program at St. It was one of the best talks we have ever heard about the Guild and the problems it was bitgood family fun at the time with several competing factions such as purists and those using electronic instruments—altogether a most delightful speech and evening.
Of course, she could have just pulled out pieces of paper and made up statistics for all we know, but it was a real tour de force. No wonder she guided the Guild so well! Judy Culler taught orchestra, general music, and mathematics in the South Redford, Highland Park, Troy, and Livonia school districts, as well as violin, viola, cello, string bass, and piano privately. She is a deacon and member of the hand-bell and adult choirs at St.
I was looking for a church home and read in the newspaper that Roberta Bitgood was going to be starting as music director and organist at the Redford Presbyterian Church that next Sunday. I attended the church service and afterward went down to the choir room to meet Roberta. I told her that I was a new music teacher in the area and would like to sing in her choir and that I was a violinist and would like to play for church services.
Little did I know at the time that this would begin a very special lifelong friendship for me! I sang in the choir every Sunday while Roberta lived in Redford, and I played the violin often with the choir and as a soloist for church services. We played viola together on the second stand of the viola section from to I remember Roberta being particularly impressed when two young men who bitgood family fun the sons of one of the French horn players in the orchestra gave an outstanding performance of the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante bitgood family fun violin and viola at one of our concerts.
After dating my husband-to-be, Dave Culler, from June until Junewe were married in Sylvania, Ohio, which was my hometown and the place where Dave was teaching elementary school.
Roberta came to Sylvania to play for our wedding, bitgood family fun this pleased both of us very much. Roberta always used to say that I knew bitgood family fun choir needed tenors, so I married one! When Roberta accepted a new calling at the First Presbyterian Church in Bay City, we kept in very close contact with her, often stopping in Bay City on our way to our summer jobs at Interlochen, to sing and play in her church there. After most of these meetings, Roberta would spend the night with us and bitgood family fun to Bay City the following day.
She had a key to our house, as she often arrived late and we had sometimes gone to bed. When Dave bitgood family fun into the spare bedroom to get his clothes to get dressed for school, there was Roberta asleep in the bed!
Many of the nights when Roberta came, we were still awake, however, and we had long visits as I graded math papers and Roberta worked on bitgood family fun ever-present needlepoint. Having a late night snack was always bitgood family fun treat, especially when we had bitgood family fun chicken, which Roberta loved. When Roberta was called to her third Michigan church inthe First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, we attended her organ concerts and again sang in her choir whenever we visited.
Roberta kept up her viola playing all through the years, and one of her very special highlights was traveling to Europe with the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra. I remember bitgood family fun saying that she never thought it would be her viola playing that would give her the chance to go to Europe. She loved every minute of this experience. Inour second son, Kurt, was born so we had another Bitgood fan added to our family.
Roberta continued to stay with us when she came to the Detroit area, and there were many nights when she and Bitgood family fun would play violin and viola duets just for fun until two in the morning. I would give up before she did, and I was thirty years younger!
After Roberta and Bert moved back to Connecticut, we saw them just about every year. During our family vacation inbitgood family fun four of us stayed for several days in the cabin down by the cove. In addition, I usually played one or bitgood family fun violin solos bitgood family fun the church service. Inwhen Bert died I was able to be there that week, and I played for his memorial service.
Roberta played the organ for the entire service. How many people do we know who could have done that? Our visiting never seems to end, bitgood family fun our late night duet playing only stopped a couple of years ago. I have been privileged to see all the sights of the New London area and most of Connecticut, and I was included in a wonderful four-day vacation at Tanglewood with Roberta, Grace, and Stuart in Roberta will always be one of our very closest friends, and we are proud to be among her hundreds of admirers.
She is one exceptional lady! Bill Kaltrider is the organist and choir director at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alpena, Michigan. He also plays funerals at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, bitgood family fun well as playing, on occasion, at the cathedral in Gaylord. This was in the early s! Swimming and roller-skating were the extent of the physical activities at Waldenwoods.
I couldn't swim and Roberta couldn't skate, so I learned to swim from Roberta and she roller-skated—hanging on to me for dear life. My bitgood family fun contact with Roberta was when she was in Riverside. I was fresh out bitgood family fun the U. Navy, not knowing what I wanted to do with my life.
I took a lesson from Roberta as often as I could get something prepared.