I first met Lynne through her long time student Lielle Berman. After a year of observing voices in my graduate program at Yale, I knew that I wanted to learn technique from Lielle's teacher, whomever that was.

Thus began three years of vocal study. I joke with my students now that for the first two months I walked into her studio, failed to say the letter 'a' for an hour and gave her $100.

Any of you who have taken lessons with Lynne know that the refinement of intension and the intolerance of compromise that she insisted upon creeps up in other parts of your life. So, in many ways, I am the whole person I am today because of her guidance.

That she was unable to overcome her own demons by intension alone is, I suppose, a lesson too.

When my mother died two Summers back there was an upside. In life she was just my mom. In death, through the conversations with old friends of hers that followed, she became more three dimensional. She became a complete person, freed from the role of our relationship. I am sad that sickness has kept me from spending the afternoon with all of you. I am convinced that Lynne would have insisted that I stay at home to nurse the cold and laryngitis that has struck in the middle of the busiest singing season of the year. She was intolerant of compromise like that :-) I am sorry that I will miss the opportunity to see Lynne become more three dimensional, more of a complete person through the stories and perspectives of those of you here today.

I was not around for her previous struggles with alcohol. I found her in her apartment this Fall at a particularly low point (she had been on a binge for several days, fallen down while walking Leo, and had been suffering from a concussion for more than a day). Seeing her like that, and watching the paramedics come to take her to the hospital is one of my last memories of her. The very last time I saw her was for a lesson. She was clearly struggling with her health and in pain.

I suppose that I won't get closure with her. She seemed to be on the upswing when I talked to her on the phone, and now she's gone. I hope that in the days to come, I am able to meet with some of you, or hear stories about her second hand or through email. Freed from her role of being my voice teacher, I look forward to learning more about Lynne the person.


Ian Howell