French-born vocalist, scholar, stage director, teacher, and Artistic Director of The Boston Camerata
I have performed, toured, recorded, and bird-watched with Don for over twenty years and on three continents. In addition to my work as a solo performer and director of musical productions of varied styles and periods, I have appeared on more than 45 recordings, including The Boston Camerata's discs Johnny Johnson, Liberty Tree and The Golden Harvest, which featured Don’s incomparable baritone.
Don and I became friends 40 years ago when we were singing waiters at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. Along with Mary Ann and Celeste, we formed The Boston Exchange, an a cappella quartet, and sang together for ten unforgettable years. Though he was my junior by three years, Don became a beloved friend and my mentor in many areas of life.
I met Don when he was a student, just 19 years old. He auditioned for me and I was floored when I heard that beautiful, sonorous voice. Don’s humanity, curiosity about the world, and optimism were just a few of the qualities that made him special. Don’s commitment to supporting young artists will be realized with this award bearing his name.
Celeste Rioux Gobeille
Soprano, comic, and basset-hound lover
I met Don in college, and for 40 years was best friends with him in every sense of those words. The depth of my love for him knows no bounds, and it is a privilege to help carry on his legacy for the benefit of musicians now and in the future.
Daniel Alan Hershey
Don and I sang together for over twenty years with groups including The Boston Camerata, Opera Boston, Handel & Haydn, and Emmanuel Music. When we weren’t on stage together, we could often be found on the road less traveled, searching for that elusive life-bird to add to our lists — a hobby he taught me. Later, I helped Don form his own summer music program, the Nahant Music Festival. I am forever grateful to have been his friend and will always remember his kind, loving soul and sense of humor.
Mary Ann Stewart
Mezzo-soprano and Fresh Cercle Founder / Creative Entrepreneur
I shared Don's love of historically informed performance in Consortium Artis Musicae (CAM) at UMass/Lowell. He and I were a dining-room team as members of the singing wait staff at the Mount Washington Hotel and, with Celeste and David, formed the a cappella quartet, Boston Exchange. We enjoyed downhill skiing together, too. In Boston, Don and I sang together at Emmanuel Music, Banchetto Musicale, and in recitals and special performances.
Poet, lyricist, and environmentalist
I was a classmate of Don’s at UMass/Lowell and then had the pleasure of performing alongside him as a Brettonian during an unforgettable season at the Mount Washington Hotel. While my educational path has included the study of music, psychology, art, and literature, I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree in Sustainability at the Harvard Extension School in hopes of contributing toward a brighter future for our planet. It’s a privilege to be part of this program that honors Don, his immense talent, and even greater spirit.
Conductor, tenor, and teacher
Beginning in 1997, Don and I sang together for many years at Emmanuel Music and in The Boston Camerata; then I had the good fortune to collaborate with him in my role as Artistic Director of Emmanuel Music. A deep friendship formed in music, along with admiration for his warm, natural baritone; Don became a big brother to me — supportive, cajoling, and loving.