We so admire what you have done for those of us who have sung with you, played in your orchestra, and learned from you in so many ways.
As concertmaster, it has been a pleasure working with you all these years. In my estimation, the Falmouth Chorale concerts became the best gig on the Cape with many memorable experiences.
John Yankee is a gifted conductor with a knack for evoking a healthy, free, and musical sound from his choirs.
John composed and arranged, taught at all levels, and somehow found time to perform folk music as well -- solo, with various community musicians and as a member of the Woods Hole Folk Orchestra.
John was involved in so many musical groups and projects in Falmouth that he could be called “Falmouth’s favorite musician.” It was inspiring to know that he loved and performed so many different types of music and could convey their uniqueness and style to us all.
John knows his scores intimately and makes it a point to provide their background and structure so that musicians better understand the work as a whole and be better connected as an orchestra.
John could adjust to chorus rehearsal difficulties in real time. He knew where the music was heading and used multiple approaches to accomplish technical goals and build our confidence. Rehearsals were where we truly learned and came together, with exciting and successful musical performances the result.
It was so refreshing to hear young singers singing great repertoire in such a healthy, musical way. There was no straining or shouting, just beautiful, often exquisite tone, consistently producing elegant lines. John Yankee certainly knows what he’s doing with these singers.
John is talented and creative and well trained, but so are a lot of people. What makes him unique is his infectious energy and enthusiasm. When he directs, you are caught up in the experience, and perform beyond what you thought you could expect from yourself.
Stunning... Children respond to John with a focus, concentration, and attention to details that goes well beyond their age.
My husband, a musician himself, and I appreciate John’s holistic approach to music education. He imparts the very essence of music in his work with students.
What a rare combination of skills and talents you find in John, along with a remarkable ability to connect with people, old and young alike, right where they are.
John's attention to detail is refreshing. He astutely identified our daughter's gifts and helped her learn to nurture them and sing in her best voice.
It is obvious that John plans the repertoire and rehearsals with each singer in mind. The concerts were beautiful, but the rehearsals are where the transformations happened.
Those fortunate to work under his direction are left with a lasting impression. John was the first person to show me that music isn’t just an option; it’s essential.
Many can teach, but only a special few can reach. John Yankee is one of those teachers.
He brought vocal and instrumental music performance of the highest level to us, and the audiences rejoiced.
He is cast from the mold of teachers that is rapidly disappearing: the passionate musician who conveys a sense of immediacy to his students.
Now when I play the fiddle, the harmonic ideas are simply there, and John's teaching is part of why. Moreover, his humor and music have helped keep me sane.
I learned to abandon my self-consciousness. John's Chorus class was the first time I ever tried something so difficult and so alien to me, and that year I learned how much bigger life can be if one ventures forth from her zone of safety.
John’s lesson plans appeal and inspire immediately. The kids take off with them right away.
At the University of Pittsburgh the Men's Glee Club had dwindled to one member. In no time John had drawn a rather motley crew of guys and formed them into an ensemble that sounded pretty darned good and made us all better singers for life.
John Yankee is among the best teachers and mentors I have ever had. He was a key figure in my formative years and I wouldn't even be close to where I am today without him.
He works with professionalism, but also with charisma, and he thrives on magnificent music, exceptional-sounding singing and high-quality performance.
How can he hear that all simultaneously?
The kids still sing his songs continuously.
To have both performers and audience members eating out of your hand simultaneously is a rare feat.
He was the best basketball player in town. We’ll miss him for that too.