Friday, August 07, 2009

Roger Rae

Roger Rae is the featured trombone soloist here in this video clip of "Yes Indeed", from the 2005 launch concert of our Every Breath CD. He passed away earlier this week.

I got to know Roger through his work with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, but he was more than a trombonist: composer, arranger and bandleader were also on his CV. And that doesn't begin to describe his gentle Scots wit, his quite love of a smoke or a drink, or his warm humanity. He was a friend to many, and his visits here to St Catherine's were special times.

I hope to be at his funeral next week. There will be many tales told... and much love in those smiles, and tears. Sarah, his wife, was with him at the sudden and unexpected end. She is also a lovely person, and my prayers are now with her. It is typical of her that as I spoke to her this evening she should ask after my mother.

A true gentleman, who will be sadly missed by many people. Rest peacefully, Roger.

PS - Someone left a note on another of my Youtube videos with Roger on it. I'll add that clip here too, but there are so many I could put up for you. Roger was a lot of fun, and his smile, his quirky sense of humour, his quick eyes - I see them all in these few minutes of music.


Anonymous said...

roger rae. This man has been an inspiration to me for my entire secondary school life, having taught me trombone in school for 5 years. A truly special man, his spirit lives on in all of those peopole who saw him. Whether his clever wit, his constant smile, his love of music or his incredible trombone playing skill is what you will remember, this is one true gentleman who shall never be missed. His patience and firmness helped me through some tough and very unforgiving trombone techniques over the years, and every time i pick up my trombone now i shall remember him. I must say his death came as quite a shock to me. His liveliness and young attitude would never have given you the impression that he was 70 years of age! Altogether, a real legend for me, my school (King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys)and other i know who knew him. His chirpiness and ability to teach anybody and everybody will be sadly missed at camp hill, and my condolences to his family and friends. To the man who was friends with everyone. RIP Roger Rae 2009. :'(

John Wesley Barker said...

Thanks for posting this video of Roger. I only heard yesterday that he'd passed away. Bless him, he was a lovely person. I knew through Birmingham Music Service, particularly the Birmingham Schools Wind Orchestra while I was conductor and he was trombone tutor for many many years. The last I time I saw him was at the doctors surgery in Halesowen when I also had an appointment. I was on hard times after being shunned by the new management at Birmingham Music Service and he told me how the same had happened to him. I saw him with the Syd Lawrence band at the Usher Hall in about 2003 too. Great guy. Thanks for the video.

Anonymous said...

I am so saddened to find out about the passing of Roger, a year later. Big John, if you read this comment, I am so sorry I didn't find out earlier. I used to phone Roger at least once a year after I left the UK, but I didn't last year because my mum passed away. My belated condoleances go to his wife Sarah and his family. Roger had charisma, he was intelligent talented, refined. Salut l'artiste. Froggy