Notes from a Community Chorus novice

Published 10:52 am Friday, April 27, 2012

Three sopranos are reviewing their Latin for the Community Chorus performance of “Carmina Burana.” Participating in the chorus for the first time (from left to right) are Gayle Lane, Petra Harrelson and Kimberly Bryan. Overlooking their efforts is chorus vice president Lee Lindsay. (photo by Ellen Harvey-Zipf)

To the Editor:
“It’s Carmina! You have to come, you’ll love it!”
If at first you thought this was the rallying cry to an Italian dinner gathering, don’t feel bad. When friends invited me to participate in the spring concert of the Community Chorus, I had no idea that “Carmina Burana” was Latin and the name of a musical composition by Carl Orff.
But as soon as I heard the opening chords I felt goose bumps. Of course I knew this piece and had heard it in many movies. In fact, my 9-year-old son recognized it immediately as “the song on my Wii game when I enter the dungeon.” I was sold. I just had to be part of this production.
For the past two months Monday evenings have become my “Mom’s Night Out” and – my friends were right – I absolutely love it. Who would have thought that joining a group of nearly 100 singers could be so much fun? Even though I’m a chorus novice, everyone, from director Mark Schweizer to accompanist Pam McNeil and chorus veterans, has been gracious and welcoming. Rehearsals are filled with laughter, friendly teasing and a fascinating range of emotions on Schweizer’s face. He has the ability to bring a large group of singers into musical harmony while keeping the process lighthearted. You cannot help but giggle when told to “sing with fluff, like mad pirates.”