YMCA Community Chorus prepares for concert

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A ticket to this weekend’s YMCA Community Chorus concert will buy you more than an afternoon of good music.

It’ll also help give several hundred underprivileged children in Suffolk the chance to attend summer camp at the YMCA.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;We will give out at least 825 scholarships this year,&uot; said Jeff Ward, the YMCA’s district vice president YMCA. Former executive director of the Suffolk facility, Ward was recently promoted after plans to open a second YMCA in Suffolk were announced. The new facility, slated to open in 2005, will be located on Shoulders Hill Road.

&uot;This is the biggest fundraiser for our summer camp program,&uot; Ward said. &uot;The YMCA Community Chorus usually raises about $10,000 toward those scholarships.&uot;

This year’s concerts will feature some of the best performances ever by the Community Chorus, said Doug Shomaker, who has directed the group for the past three years.

Concerts are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. April 17 and 3 p.m. April 18 in King’s Fork Elementary School, Kings Fork Road.

&uot;The choir has worked very hard and given their very best and we will make this one of our finest moments,&uot; said Shomaker. &uot;So please come out to support us while we all support the YMCA’s summer camp efforts.&uot;

The 65-voice chorus, representing about 25 churches in Suffolk and surrounding areas, has been rehearsing weekly since February under the direction of Shomaker, minister of music, and Linda Rodgers, pianist from Ebenezer United Methodist Church.

A few new faces have joined dozens of veteran performers.

Newcomer Nancy White said she joined because it included a Christian community of singers working for a special cause -helping children.

&uot;Selections are not only quality music, but also enjoyable to sing and to hear,&uot; White said. &uot;It has been a positive experience and I have felt welcome and have had a chance to meet new people.

&uot;We’ve also got an excellent director,&uot; she said. &uot;Although he is serious about the music, we have fun too.&uot;

Selections the chorus will sing will be mostly of a religious nature, including anthems, spirituals and music from composers such as Paul Tschesnokoff, Mary McDonald, Virgil Thomson, and Henry Smith.

There will also be performances by a gospel instrumental group, a gospel vocal trio and soloists, along with a few surprises.

All money raised during the Community Chorus concerts will go into the YMCA’s &uot;We Build People&uot; annual charitable-giving campaign, Ward said.

Tickets will also serve as a raffle ticket for a one-year family membership to the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. A drawing will be held at each concert.

Concert tickets can be purchased for $10 from any member of the YMCA Community Chorus or at the YMCA, 2769 Godwin Blvd. For information, call 934-9622.