Those of you who know me know something of my musical background. I started singing in Junior High School, in Mrs. Scozzafava's popular chorus. That lead to more choral experience and some musical theater fun throughout high school and college. I sang in the church choir at the Greek Orthodox Church of St George in Bethesda, Maryland. With several national chorus student groups, I had the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. My degree is in Music from Northwestern University, where I enjoyed performing in several productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, as well as the acclaimed Waa-Mu student variety show.
After graduating from Northwestern, I started a career in the hotel business. My involvement with the world of musical performance stalled, although for several years I sang with the Dallas Symphony Chorus and, later, with the Memphis Symphony Chorus. It's been at least seven years since I have made the time to take part in any organized outlet for my singing. Now I'm retired. I have the interest and the time and no excuses.
I love my retired life, my community, and my friends. I am protective of my time, and am hesitant to make a lot of specific commitments of my time and energy. But it is time to step out of my comfort zone and explore other activities.
A twist of fate occured one evening in downtown Prescott. While walking down Gurley Street with Ron, we happened to see friends dining in a restaurant. They waved us in. We met Hal Lobaugh, who builds homes in Talking Rock. His wife, Suzy, is the director of Prescott's chapter of Sweet Adelines*, named "Song of the Pines". Just days after expressing interest, Suzy called to recruit me.
Tuesday night, I attended a rehearsal as an observer. What I observed was a professional, organized, well-directed musical group. We did physical and vocal warm-ups, and spent several hours rehearsing music in preparation for future performances. I enjoyed the selection of classic songs performed in close harmony. I noted the emphasis on sound vocal technique and the tuning of pitch. The focus and commitment to the group as a whole was evident. I was impressed.
My voice needs some exercise, and Song of the Pines needs some additional manpower in the Lead section. I think I'm stepping out to sing again.
*Sweet Adelines is an international association of women's barbershop choral groups.