"We've told you a dozen times: BETTY FARMER directs the music. Who takes a bunch of engineers and lawyers and high-school kids and housewives and turns them into polished musicians in practically the twinkling of an eye? Who directs children's choirs, substitute teaches, and finds time to take care of five children of her own? Who's in her second year as production manager of "Adventures in Music?" Why, the same person without whom the Sudbury Savoyards just wouldn't be the same, that's whom."

Betty always credits her husband Ken and Priscilla's husband, Charlie, and their families for their strong support, making it possible to do what they did. Betty's can-do approach broke the ground for our group today. She paved the way on many counts. One can imagine the many stumbling blocks she encountered in those early years, and happily she found ways to circumvent them and keep the group going. I mentioned that some church members preferred a religious based fund-raiser... and some even wanted to do Minstrel shows! But thanks to her, Gilbert and Sullivan prevailed! Initially, Betty and Priscilla assumed many roles that today are handled by many, many individuals. Thy handled every aspect of the production, from directing down to cleaning up the kitchen after rehearsals, and checking for smouldering cigarette butts in the waste bins, something we never think about these days!

For most of us, perhaps one of the most significant of Betty's marks on the group was that from the first, Betty instituted the open chorus policy, which has emboldened many a tentative chorister to find his or her voice for the first time and assured the more certain among us of a venue at which to sing out without the pressure of an audition. Phew!

With sixteen shows under her baton, the stories Betty shares about the early days of the Sudbury Savoyards are numerous and interesting. The love and enthusiasm she brought to the task are still evident and there is still a twinkle in her eye when she shares her remembrances of the early days with you. Betty's contributions most certainly amount to "extraordinary service above and beyond the call of duty". The accolades Betty is receiving are well-deserved and to her we extend our heartfelt appreciation for founding and growing this great organization -Thank you, Betty, and congratulations!!!

Marianne L. Hatton 2003

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