It's September, and the Laurel Lake Encore Chorale is off to a phenomenal start.
The work began months ago: choosing repertoire, ordering the music, stamping and getting it into folders. Our music library has been housed on my dining room table this summer.
The first Laurel Lake Chorale rehearsal kicked off on Tuesday September 8 over 50 singers strong -- and strong they are! We've gained 12 new members, and the group's sound is BEAUTIFULLY anchored with eight basses and six tenors. Our sopranos and altos have a marvelous tone and impressive range. Need a high G or an A? No problem.
At the first full rehearsal, you could tell that everyone was thrilled to be back. The singers charged in fearlessly, sight-reading the very patriotic and lengthy "Armed Forces: The Pride of America" and Irving Berlin's "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor" with ease. The gorgeous setting of the 23rd Psalm by Mark Hayes, "The God of Love My Shepherd Is," could have been written for this group.
When I asked them to take out "Do You Hear What I Hear?", one of the basses immediately shot back: "Nope, hearing's shot." Everybody's a comedian.
This holiday season the chorale will also be performing the traditional French carol, "What Is This Lovely Fragrance?" with handbells, "The Winter's Night" by Nicholas Myers, Andre Thomas' "African Noel," Howard Helvey's gospel rockin' "Go Tell It On the Mountain," Sammy Cahn's jazzy "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!", Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," John Rutter's frenetic "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," and "Light," a haunting piece from Michael Isaacson's Chanukah song cycle, Aspects of a Great Miracle.
Whew! Looooootta work ahead. But this gang is up to the challenge. After practice, my accompanist (and mom) Ruth Anderson said, "This is really something. You've got a tiger by the tail!"
Do we ever! Encore is growing, and so are Laurel Lake's performance opportunities. We're planning a vocal technique workshop with Jeanne Kelly in Ohio the weekend of November 14th, a combined choirs concert with the Summit Choral Society Children's Concert Choir, and more to come.
Know anyone 55 or older in Ohio? Tell them to look us up!