YMCA Community Chorus ready for weekend concerts

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

This is the 13th year that the YMCA Community Chorus has been performing. and the second year for Doug Shomaker as director of the chorus. The first concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and the second one will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday; both will be in King’s Fork Middle School.

Talmadge Darden had to give the director’s position up two years ago when he became principal of the newly built King’s Fork facility. However, he has played a big part by offering the rehearsals and concerts to be held at the school.


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Another person who has played a big part in helping to get the choir organized is Casey Butts who set up the chorus room each rehearsal night, gathered music together, organized programs and many other duties.

The concerts are called &uot;Sing for the Children&uot; and that phrase explains itself. The choir was formed 13 years ago by the former executive director at that time, Martha Callis, who wanted to raise funds so that underprivileged children could attend summer camp. Since that time thousands of dollars have been raised to make the summer vacation happier for hundreds of children.

Shomaker is the organist at Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Crittenden, and an employee at Gates County High School in Gatesville, N.C. He said he has enjoyed these two years directing the chorus even though it has been a lot of work.

&uot;It is also work for the members but when we realize what it is all about, everything that we are doing seems worthwhile,&uot; Shomaker said.

He also said he thinks this program is well put together, and that people who come to see it can look forward to a concert that will include a variety of music to their enjoyment.

Selections will include patriotic, spirituals, pop, hymns done in anthem style, and Latin.

Patriotic music will include, &uot;God Bless America,&uot; &uot;We The People,&uot; &uot;The Star Spangled Banner,&uot; &uot;America The Beautiful,&uot; and, of course, the salute to the Armed Forces. Representatives from each branch of the service will be asked to stand when their particular military song is presented.

Spirituals will include, &uot;Down to the Water to Pray,&uot; &uot;Ain’t Got Time to Die,&uot; &uot;Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen,&uot; and Ezekiel Saw De Wheel.

Hymns sung anthem styled will include, &uot;Assurance,&uot; &uot;Fairest Lord Jesus,&uot; &uot;For the Beauty of the Earth,&uot; and &uot;The Lord Bless You and Keep You,&uot; and a Latin anthem, &uot;O Vos Omnes.&uot;

Of course, the YMCA Chorus would not be anything without the expertise of musician, Linda Rodgers from Ebenezer United Methodist Church.

Additional performances will include a barbershop harmony group, Praise Six from Smithfield Baptist Church.

A performance for the children would be nothing without little children performing; therefore songs by Louann Tyler’s second-grade class from Nansemond-Suffolk Academy will be there to draw aahs and oohs from the audience.

Over 70 members of the YMCA Chorus are representing

30 churches in and around the area of Suffolk.

Jack Neild from Magnolia United Methodist Church has been with the chorus since its inception and said that he wouldn’t miss being a part of it for the world.

Danna Vroman from Ebenezer United Methodist Church is performing with the chorus for the first time.

&uot;I was encouraged to join by members in my church choir. The patriotic pieces are really appropriate during this time of war. I have enjoyed the rehearsals and am looking forward to the concerts. I can’t wait to get ready to do the same thing again next year,&uot; she said.