It was with sadness that I read of the passing of my friend Ted Dillistone on August 31 in Campbell River, B.C.
Ted came into my life in the fall of 1986 when he joined our newly-formed Golden Horn Music Theatre group. He was given the role of Go-To in our first production entitled The Mikado, a Gilbert and Sullivan production. Backstage one evening Ted approached me about singing in a barbershop quartet. I was interested and agreed to give it a try.
We met at his house and Chuck Hovey and Jim Boyles were there as well. I passed the test and became the tenor for the Midnight Sons Barbershop Quartet. We practised all January and February and were ready to entertain in the bars and restaurants of Whitehorse during Sourdough Rendezvous in late February. We had a wonderful time.
Ted had our group registered with SPEBQSA—the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We entertained in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Haines Junction for several years. Then we lost Chuck Hovey and he was replaced by Bruce Barrett. Jim Boyles and Ted Dillistone both left town leaving Bruce and me to carry on. We did and in our final years Dale Franklin and Dan Halen joined us and we had a few more wonderful years singing at Rendezvous.
Ted took the role of Oliver Hix in Music Man and ended his musical theatre career in Whitehorse as the Major General in The Pirates of Penzance at the Ice Palace, now the Transportation Museum.
Ted kept in touch after he retired to Campbell River. Every Christmas his letter informed me of his musical endeavors and he was encouraged that the Midnight Sons were still singing in Whitehorse. But all good things must come to an end.
I knew all was not well with Ted when he failed to write me for the past few Christmases. I am ever so grateful to Ted for the short but wonderful portion of my life he enriched through barbershop singing. He put The Shooting of Dan McGrew to music for us and his talents were shared with all of us. Thank you, Ted. I know the choirs of heaven are now one baritone richer.