The Pass Chorale is sad to report that we lost one of our basses to a stroke. Tony Studor was a long time member of the Pass Chorale. He sang with the group under its first director, Martha Abbott. He had a beautiful bass voice, and he loved choral music. He always said that the music energized him so much that, after rehearsals, he would sometimes have trouble falling asleep.
Tony's late wife, Darlene, was also a Chorale member and used to drive Tony to rehearsals. Tony could not drive because he suffered from epilepsy after being hit in the head. After Darlene died, we (Ernest and June) drove Tony. We got to hear lots of his amazing stories.
Tony was originally from Michigan where his family had a farm. When they moved to Banning they bought 10 acres and started a farm. Tony had many stories of that farm, raising rabbits, driving the tractor, and fun with his siblings.
Tony went to Banning High where he played Alto Saxophone in the band and sang in the chorus. He was one of the few boys that had a car, something that the girls liked! He served in the Army in during the Korean war, where his job was driving officers around. In the evenings he played his Sax in the officers club.
Tony said he was never without work, and he never had to apply for a job. He recapped tires and did yard work. He was so proud of his own yard and always told us when he was pruning or feeding his roses. He had fruit trees and other flowers too. Neighbors and friends asked him to prune their trees and help with their yards too.
Tony died of a stroke. The Chorale and friends from the choir at Our Savior's Lutheran Church sang at his funeral at Life Point Church, where he as a long-time member. Tony was dressed in his Pass Chorale Tux with the red bow tie that he always wore at our Christmas concert. We sang a shape-note hymn, The Promised Land, that Tony had sung with us many times. It was difficult, but fitting tribute to our friend. We miss his beautiful bass voice, his stories, and his presence among us. Sing well in the heavenly choirs, Tony!