Let This Be A Celebration of life! Remembering Marvin Hamlisch on the 3rd Anniversary of his passing.
“Genius is rare enough, but a good-hearted genius is rarer still”
“A good-hearted, humble and hilarious genius? Almost unheard-of.”
“We are Marvin’s concerto” — President Bill Clinton
It was an especially apt observation coming, as it did, in eulogy remarks Mr. Clinton delivered at the funeral of Marvin Hamlisch, the prolific composer of songs like “The Way We Were” and musicals like “A Chorus Line.”
Mr. Hamlisch “gave us all the gift of our memories,” Mr. Clinton said.
Statements of condolence were also read from President Obama and Michelle Obama, and from Nancy Reagan, who said that she sometimes liked to sing along with Mr. Hamlisch when he would perform for her and President Reagan. “Luckily,” Mrs. Reagan wrote, “his piano music drowned out my voice.”
Before the service, held at the same synagogue as the funeral of George Gershwin (in 1937), touches of Mr. Hamlisch’s music and his playful sensibility could be seen and heard.
A hearse outside the temple carried bright yellow flowers decorated with lollipops, suggesting Lesley Gore’s hit single “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows,” which Mr. Hamlisch composed. Organist Andrew Henderson played Mr. Hamlisch’s theme “Looking Through The Eyes of Love” from the movie “Ice Castles,” and the service featured a choir that grew by the day with famous composers, lyricists, singers, colleagues and Friends of Marvin Hamlisch, singing his beautiful music from “The Way We Were” and “A Chorus Line”
LISTEN: FUNERAL SERVICES FOR MAESTRO MARVIN HAMLISCH -
Temple Emanu-el, New York
August 14, 2012
Song: “Through The Eyes of Love” — Organist Andrew Henderson
Chant: Esa Einai ‑Psalm 121 — A Song of Ascents
Rendition by Cantor Bruce L. Ruben. Arr by Cantor Bruce L. Ruben
A Song of Ascents. Psalm 121
Reading from Ecclesiastes — Rabbi David Posner.
“You know friends, life is a mystery. And death is a mystery too. None of us ever asked to be born. We know not when the final moment will come. And even between those two parenthesis of our being, we cannot account for all of the forces that change us, and that shape us.” — Rabbi David Posner.
Listen: Reading and words from Rabbi David Posner:
The Choir’s Rendition: Song: The Way We Were:
Arr. Robert Page. Adapted by Judith Clurman. Larry Hockman, Piano. Judith Clurman, Conductor. Sung by Marvin Hamlisch Funeral Chorus (Family & Friends)
“I’d like to point out something first about today’s choir: It’s no ordinary choir. What started out as a small, simple choir, grew by the day, formed by already invited guests and musical colleagues. His peers have chosen to sing in this choir to honor Marvin. It’s filled with renowned composers, it has singers like Lucie Arnaz, it has stellar orchestrators like Jonathan Tunick, and brilliant lyricists like Sheldon Harnick and Rupert Holmes. Marvin would be so pleased to be honored by his esteemed peers in this way. Thank you, Judy Clurman, for this amazing gift.” Terre Blair Hamlisch
Listen: The Choir’s rendition of “The Way We Were”
Eulogy by Rabbi Paul Kushner
“A century ago the great Hebrew poet Chaim Nachman Bialik, anticipating his own premature death, wrote his own eulogy. It is as valid at this moment as it was then: “After my death, mourn me thus. There was a man, and see, he is no more. Before his time, his life was ended. And the song of his life was broken. Oh! He had one more melody and now that melody is lost forever. Lost forever.”
Listen: Eulogy by Rabbi Paul Kushner
Eulogy by President William Jefferson Clinton
“Genius is rare enough, but a good hearted genius is rarer still. A good hearted, humble and hilarious genius: almost unheard of.” - President Bill Clinton
Listen to Eulogy by President Bill Clinton:
Eulogy by William Mitchell
“The Marvin Hamlisch who wrote the music that peppered our lives and forced us to feel. Who hasn’t cried these last few days hearing the bittersweet emotion in the notes of “The Way We Were?” — William Mitchell
Listen to Eulogy by William Mitchell
Letters from Nancy Reagan, Barack & Michelle Obama, Eulogy by Ebs Burnough
“Marvin Hamlisch was my dear friend and I am truly stunned by his death at such a young age.” — Nancy Reagan
“Marvin used his remarkable gifts to enrich the lives of countless Americans and his music forever changed the landscape of our imaginations. A tireless advocate for Arts Education, he reminded us all that the Arts have the power to shape our lives and change our shared future.” — Barack & Michelle Obama
“Only Marvin could bring all of us together. He always knew that the music was the great common denominator” — Ebs Burnough
Listen to Letters from Mrs Reagan, Mr. & Mrs. Obama, Mr. Burnough:
Eulogy by Terre Blair
“YOU DID THAT HONEY! You were so much greater than you ever thought. How fortunate we are all that in our time that you came our way. How incredible lucky and grateful and honored and humbled I was to share 26 years with you. Thank you from the depths of my heart. I love you Marvin and I always will. Just like it said on our wedding napkins: “Forever and after that” THANK YOU…THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US. - Terre Blair Hamlisch
Listen to Eulogy by Terre Blair Hamlisch:
The Choir’s rendition: Songs “What I Did For Love” & “At The Ballet” (From The Musical “A Chorus Line”)
SING ALONG with the congregation
conducted by Judith Clurman.
Larry Hochman, piano.
600 strong Choir with many of Marvin Hamlisch’s
colleagues, his family and friends.
What I did For Love:
“Gone? Love is never gone. As we travel on, love’s what we’ll remember.
Kiss today goodbye, and point me t’ward tomorrow.
We did what we had to do. Won’t forget, can’t regret what I did for Love.”
At The Ballet:
“Yes everything was beautiful at the ballet. I was happy at…the…ballet.”
Listen: The Choir’s Rendition. What I Did For Love / At The Ballet:
Chant: The Memorial Prayer: “El Molei Rachamin” (“God Full or Mercy”) / Cantor: Lori A. Corrsin
Rabbi’s last words: Reading of the Memorial Prayer:
Last Note from Terre Blair Hamlisch:
On the third anniversary of Marvin’s passing, we – again – give thanks:
To ALL who joined this celebration,
To The entire Choir, reinforced with the voices of Marvin’s Friends, Colleagues and Family.
To Rabbi Paul Kushner and Rabbi David Posner,
to Cantors Bruce L. Ruben and Lori A. Corrsin.
To Organist Andrew Henderson and Pianist Larry Hockman.
To Judith Clurman for the choir arrangements, and the choir assistants: Kinley Russell, chorus manager. Attendance Assistants: Elizabeth Doyle, Lisa Gwasda, Christopher Klaich, Meredith Lavine, Kate Levin, Megan Lemley, Matt Leonard, Aviva Marer, Todd Monroe, Joseph Shapiro, Ashlee Wilson, Matthew Vanzini, Cathleen Oliva
Thanks to all of you who came for Marvin!