If you put 70+ men and women in a room, the roots and hometowns, the ideas, theories, and interests will be as varied and numbered as the stars above. Some are golfers, some play tennis or pickleball, some play Mah Jongg, some are swimmers, and others are walkers or avid gym visitors. But in this particular group, there is a common thread, a shared interest. That interest is music and, specifically, singing choral music. This is a fair description of the Sun Lakes Chorale. We all willingly set aside all those other interests one day a week to gather and do the thing we all love—singing.
Our recent annual Spring Concert was the culmination of weeks of hard work and dedication. We work hard, and we are dedicated to putting on a program that touches all those in the audience. With the guidance of our program coordinator Bart Evans and our accomplished director Cris Evans (yes, they are married), we manage to take our audience through a maze of emotions through our songs, and this concert was no exception.
We opened with a song praising the joy the of singing, a sweet tune about finding one’s way, “The Road Home,” warm love songs like “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” to a finger-snapping (literally) “Sing, Sing, Sing” by the famous Louis Prima, with scat performances by Sally Holberg and Bart Evans. What a fun song to sing and lift your spirits. Jack Perin and Jody Mattson were featured soloists in “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” a lilting number about love in the air.
And on the not-so-serious side, our male Chorale members sang “Materia Potens et Adhaesiva.” We didn’t know what that was either. It was a fun tune about the wonders of … “Duct Tape”! An unfamiliar rendition of “People,” the famous Barbra Streisand hit, was well-presented by the Chorale women.
The highlight of the evening was the outstanding solos performed by Kate Emerick, the young, talented soprano who happens to be the granddaughter of Bart and Cris. She amazed both the Chorale and the audience with her rendering of “Ich Liebe Dich,” a song she had previously sung for an audition. This teenager stood up in front of the large audience and mustered the nerve to perform like a pro. We are all sure Kate will go far with her singing prowess.
A favorite of the Chorale was “In the Heart of the World,” which featured another solo by Kate. This song was originally written by Bob Chilcott in the aftermath of 9/11 and focused on the hope of the world after 9/11. Knowing the history of the song gave us so much emotion to project.
With each concert we become more aware that all our differences can be left at the door and we can be one voice of hope when we do what we all love—sing!