My mother’s father, my grandfather, George John Rutt, was born in Pewsey, England in 1890. As a child I heard very few stories of my grandfather’s early days which peaked my interest to explore my ancestry.
This journey began just after the millennium.
My first visit brought me to the very hamlet, Kepnal in Pewsey, where my grandfather was born. In the local cemetery I found gravestones marking the final resting place of several relatives. It made me want to find out more. 2 years later I brought my mother to her father’s birthplace, a memory I will treasure all my days.
My mother adored her parents. Music was an integral part of the Rutt family. Singing was the bond that brought this family of 16 children together.
My mother was the first to be able to pursue singing as a career. She gave of her time and talent to entertain the troops during World War 2. Her voice was heard as the soprano soloist in the finest cathedrals in Montreal. She was then invited to go to New York City but chose to make marriage and family her priority.
My earliest memories of the Rutt family gatherings were of music as the centre of these events. With their gift of musical ear and vocal ranges, they were masterful in singing in four part harmony. This is one of the reasons why I love to invite choirs to be a part of my show. I have been grateful to carry the musical torch for this talented family.
My grandfather was larger than life. A man with a beautiful voice and nature. I have fond memories of time spent with him.
It has been a dream to return to Pewsey and hold a concert in honour of my mother’s family. “Songs for my Grandfather” will pay tribute to the strength, perseverance and courage of my ancestors. All proceeds of this fund raising concert will be directed to three local charities of my choosing; The Pewsey Carnival, The Salvation Army Swindon and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
The community of Pewsey and Wiltshire has embraced me as I have dug deeper into my heritage. I am grateful for their support. I look forward to the opportunity to bring focus to this community in the spirit of honouring my ancestors.