On Saturday afternoon, May 20, the Performing Arts Centre filled with music as former students and peers of Stettler music teacher, Noeline Brockley came together to remember her, and pay tribute to her loving legacy.
“It was like a reunion of our close theatre family, so many well-loved faces coming out to say goodbye,” Stephanie Brockley, one of her daughters and organizers of the memorial concert, said. “The concert far surpassed what we expected for a small spring concert in memory of mom, who used to have a spring concert with her students every year.”
Moved by the experience, her other daughter and one of the organizers as well, Susan Starling said, “We’ve all been struggling through practices that always managed to start the tears flowing and we’ve been wondering if we’d be able to get through it on the day without breaking down or choking up, but we wanted it to be good for mom. And it was.”
It was truly touching as students came up to speak and shared their fond memories of Noeline.
According to both Susan and Stephanie, many people who attended said how grateful they were that the memorial concert had been organized and what a fitting tribute it was and how beautifully everything went.
“Although many who performed said they should have done musical theatre after seeing Rick Nicklom performing as Fagan from ‘Oliver’ one of mom’s most popular productions,” Susan said. “It reminded me of dad because he played Fagan in that production and he often sang to mom one of Fagan’s solos ‘I’m Reviewing The Situation’ and the last time I saw him sing it to her was when she was having a lucid moment about four months before she died, she clapped her hands at the end and remarked firmly ‘well done!’”
With most family members spread out, it was a little tough coordinating everyone, yet everyone cooperated and brought the concert to a successful fruition.
Granddaughter Sarah provided a sampling of Noeline’s favourite treats for the intermission as well as taking care of family and friends all weekend; Noeline’s son Graham emceed, was last minute guitar accompanist and backup harmony singer; daughters Stephanie and Susan coordinated together to plan the details and then with some help from friend Tammy Chick put together a great display of flowers for the day; while Noeline’s husband Peter did the lion’s share of the organizing and work on the program as well as the display in the foyer and hall; and granddaughter-in-law Shari did a fantastic job accompanying the choir and family for the day.
“I think our only noticeable glitch was using the projector to play tributes from students who couldn’t attend but wanted to contribute anyway,” Susan said. “It proved to be a bit harder than we had anticipated. I think we envisioned something a little easier to use, but in the end everything played, although some were trickier than others!”
Both Susan and Stephanie said that they were touched by the community’s participation.
“We’d like to thank Scott Pfeiffer for doing such a terrific job as our sound and lighting tech for the day, he really went above and beyond and due to him we had a very successful concert enjoyed by all who attended,” Stephanie said. “Also thank you to everyone who did all the last-minute running around for things overlooked or missed. We’d also like to thank everyone who donated to the Noeline Brockley Memorial Scholarship Fund.”
The Brockleys also expressed their gratitude to Howard and Rose Fenske and Anne Purves for greeting people at the door and keeping things running smoothly; to Jayne Luy for accompanying Brad Lagore last minute.
“A huge thank you to all those who showed up for our ‘impromptu’ choir and doing such a great job on one rehearsal,” Susan said. “You were all amazing! We’re so grateful to everyone who contributed in every way and we’re especially grateful that we were able to have a lovely spring concert for our incredible, gifted, sadly missed mentor, teacher, great and grand and mother and wife.”
For anyone who would like to donate to the Noeline Brockley Memorial Scholarship Fund, it is open to donations for the next four months via https://gogetfunding.com/noeline-brockley-memorial-scholarship/