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Singers search for new director

With the loss of their director, the Prime Time Singers are in search of someone to continue the group’s growing success.

The group, formed in 1984 at Magnolia United Methodist Church, has been singing for more than three decades. But the director, Randy Maybery, passed away March 14 from lung cancer. Since his passing, the group hasn’t been able to find the right person to fill the spot.

When Maybery joined the Prime Time Singers, he saw their potential, and it took some convincing for them to realize they could be better with the right musical education and training.

“Randy tried to do a little ‘Music Theory 101,’ but most of the members just wanted to sing. His response was, ‘I want you to sing and have a good time but be better than you are,’��� said Barbara Rayburn, Maybery’s fiancée and Prime Time’s secretary. “As the compliments grew from our performances, the group began to realize that what he was saying was true, and of course, the group wanted to improve even more.”

In just the three years that Maybery led the Prime Time Singers, he transformed them from a two-part harmony to a four-part harmony. And not only was Maybery directing the group, but he was doing it from behind a piano.

The Singers didn’t like to sing their arrangements to a recording, and with Maybery, they didn’t have to.

“He was an excellent musician, and he really helped us get better. He got a better tone out of the Prime Time Singers than we ever had,” said Ella Ellis, Prime Time’s president. “He helped us be better than what we are.”

The success that Maybery brought the singing group is hard to replace, and most don’t think anyone could replace him. What the group wants is for a new face to come and help the group’s members continue to grow and improve their skills.

“We are looking for someone to be our leader, not replace Randy,” Rayburn said. “You cannot fill someone else’s shoes. We want them to take the group and make it their own.”

The right director will be someone with a passion for music and the ability to continue to grow the group musically.

“Randy made you feel like you could sing, even if you couldn’t sing. It’s going to be difficult, and we aren’t going to get anyone like Randy,” said Joyce Garrettson, a member of the Prime Time Singers. “We want someone who loves music, is patient and God-centered, because they have to love God and love people to do this job.”

The group decided not to move forward with music this spring, but they plan to sing for the fall season, whether they have a director or not. Rayburn hopes that they can have a director in time for any performances they schedule for November and December.

The position is not full-time. Those interested in becoming the director of the Prime Time Singers can contact Rayburn via email at nanibarb@juno.com.