Community Chorus concert a unique, delightful treat

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

To the editor:

I feel compelled to write to you about today’s performance by the Community Chorus because Fran and I enjoyed it so much. Director Ben Chumley styled this one “the Great American Songbook” and explained in his delightful verbal “program notes” that these songs comprise the uniquely American contribution to the world’s music in the middle years of the 20th century.

How can every piece be “my favorite”? Perhaps I can explain . . .

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I told Art Brown afterward that this was the best program they had ever done. He said, “That’s what you said last time.” So I replied, “But that was before I heard this one!”

It was the same as the memorable songs of the era followed one after another . . . each a shining example of Maestro Chumley’s thesis. And how can I pick a few highlights, without overlooking another equally well-loved song? No way . . . All great!

Same goes for the instrumentalists, soloists, and the small groups who sang for us. But I just have to mention the mechanical doll drum major (James Bryan), the single trombonist (Hank Sibley; Ben commented they were short 75) who came out of the wings during the Music Man medley, and the members of the jazz trio who got to play two sets for us to give the chorus a break.

Leslie Bush turned out to be much more than a “propuh chuch musician” at the piano and Linda Lee Reynolds stole the show as she enthusiastically plucked her upright bass the whole hour without a music stand in sight. I guess my only complaint is that I could see more than I could hear of what Mike Carruthers was doing with his brushes and drumsticks. I did not see a music stand among his array of percussion stuff, either.

No, I do have another complaint: why were there so many empty seats? Sure, it was a beautiful afternoon, great to be outdoors. But may I suggest that there was something even more satisfying happening inside the high school auditorium today? As the GMC truck commercials say, “We are professional grade,” and I say the same of the Community Chorus. Their concerts are a great value and support a worthy cause. See you at their next one, OK?


Garland Goodwin
Columbus, N.C.