We greatly mourn the passing of our dear friend Dr. John Bassett, who died yesterday morning. John has been a dedicated member of the Minnesota Chorale since 1977 and was a remarkable and beloved man both professionally and personally. I knew him as an engaged, passionate, skilled singer, who shared his heart and soul through whatever music he was studying at the moment. A pillar of the bass section, he sang countless projects with the Chorale bringing insight and experience to familiar choral masterworks along with joy and delight in projects of new music and traditions. Last summer, he traveled with the Chorale to South Africa and reveled in our side-by-side singing with the Gauteng Choristers and 29:11 of Beethoven's 9th Symphony and the Music for Mandela program. Most recently, he sang all three concerts of the Verdi Requiem at Orchestra Hall under Edward Gardner, giving all that he had to these concerts and the transformational message of the music. He was a radiant and spiritual presence within the chorus, a mentor and advocate of young singers, and a generous, caring individual, who engaged fully with his community and the world around him while also, preparing for his departure from this world. Tonight, as we gather for our first summer rehearsal at Sanctuary Covenant Church, we will lift up our voices and celebrate the inspiring life and work of John Bassett, knowing that he will be by our side singing Bawo thixo somandla with the choir of angels.