The last performance of “Looking Back and Forward,” which was in celebration of the Firehouse Community Theatre’s 25th Anniversary, was given on April 15 by the Firehouse Singers. This show was a very emotional one for everyone connected to the music review because earlier in the year Nick Fidanza had told them of his pending retirement.
Nick sang with the Maple Corner Quartet for two years before starting the Firehouse Singers. He has directed the Firehouse Singers and put together these music reviews for eight years.
After years of singing together, the Firehouse Singers have all become a family, and Nick – the fearless leader. Before each show, we come together for prayer, and if anyone wants to say something or give suggestions, this is the time to do it.
Music Director John Wall (who has been with the Firehouse for three years) touched everyone’s heart by reading the words of the song to his second piano solo. Tears were seen as he stated that was how he felt about everyone. He stated: “You ALL have left a hand print on my heart.”
Tears began to flow when Nick announced that this was the third anniversary of the death of Suzanne Hardee Hubbart and that today’s performance would be dedicated to her. Suzanne was a long time member of the Firehouse Singers and the Theatre. With a motto of “the show must go on,” Nick told everyone to “Break a Leg” while the ladies began to dry the tears and repair their makeup.
The show went well with such a great audience taking part. Then it was time for the final song. Nick announced to the audience that he was retiring after eight years of directing the Firehouse Singers and these music reviews. He stated that he thought that it would only be appropriate for a song by the “Chairman of the Board” (Frank Sinatra) to be the last song of the show. “My Way” was sung with all of the cast joining in.
At the end of each show, the director always thanks all of the “behind the scene” people, who without their help, there would be no production. With tears flowing, Tina Johnson Kirby stepped forward and told the audience that without Nick there wouldn’t have been any shows for the last eight years. Between tears, she thanked him for putting up with all of us which made Nick choke up with tears. The audience then gave him a standing ovation for all of his hard work and dedication.
A line from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet comes to mind: “Parting is such sweet sorrow.” For the Firehouse Singers, no truer words have ever been spoken.