Peter Voisin Eulogy (4”10”) Revised 04 30 2008
The Roy and Voisin families welcome all of you to today’s “Celebration of Life”! I would like to take just a moment now and thank Ray Bouchard of Marsh Chapel and Dean Walt Meissner and the ENTIRE staff here at school for making this moment very special. Adding to the memorial service this afternoon are representatives from the New England Conservatory of Music, The Boston Symphony, and Boston University. These institutions collaborated with Roger over his entire lifetime in very special ways and you will hear more about that in just a few moments.
My Father wanted us to all listen to the Ravel today. He just gave us this moment. That was his only musical request. Maurice Ravel had a very, very special place in Roger’s heart. He had lots of room in there for his music, his family, his colleagues, and his friends! I am convinced that there is a note in this music for each and every one of us here today and he wanted you to hear your note! That’s just the way he was!
He has now moved on to better accommodations, and I am convinced that Gabriel himself is being questioned by Roger (Touch nose with index finger…..) “So exactly how softly CAN YOU PLAY?”
We know of the many accomplishments that my father contributed while here on this earth. As his Father Rene said to him many a time, “Serve Music”. That he did! He played it, he taught it, he edited it, he recorded it, and he definitely “Solfeged” it.
He also used Music to connect his life with others. There were always special occasions: people involved in a fanfare at Symphony or Tanglewood, a wedding, an Easter Service, a trumpet call to herald a special event, or “Happy Birthday” (and sometimes even played over the telephone!). If there was a rehearsal in our home, many times he would pause and say: “Come, let’s go have something to eat - have a glass of wine - How’s your family”. You know the rest.
We did share that glass of wine, dreamed… and laughed… and learned…. He is in a better place now. He has no pain or discomfort. He left with us his wonderful sense of humor and (as Mother says – and you have this right, Mother)…”his distinct musical integrity which has enriched all of our lives”.
One of the things my father and I reflected on during one of my my last visit to Lasell House in Auburndale was his comment that “he had no regrets”. I remember he listed his accomplishments, calmly, and I added the ones he modestly left out. I then pointed out that in his career, he had never composed any music and that I wanted to add that to the Voisin record. He agreed. I them said that I was keenly passionate about developing that area and that he could be assured that I would become a good composer worthy of his name! He commented that I had already made a good down-payment at the 2007 ITG Conference Voisin Tribute performance of “La Torche”.
As we both reflected on our lives, my father then gave me yet another “Pearl of Wisdom”. He said:
“Find out WHAT you do – then go out and DO IT WELL!
That’s what he did. That’s what he taught. That’s who he was! My father learned that from his father Rene, from Mr. Georges Mager, from Mr. Marcelle LaFosse, from his many colleagues, and from his many students throughout his long teaching career at NEC, BU, and Tanglewood.
He lived life to the fullest and gave joy to all around him!
His instrument was trumpet…….. His language was Music!