Why Join Chordaires?

Pictured (left to right) are Gretchen Ohlgart, Judy Vuich, Linda Ryan, Patsy Krueger, Barb Hyder.

Linda Ryan

There I was on a riser onstage before an audience of nearly 300 people when Ginger Henry blew the starting note on a pitchpipe for the opening number of the Chordaires’ Spring Show. I went blank.

I’m told it’s not unusual, especially for rookies. As soon as the women around me burst forth in song, I was on my way, and the rest of the show was a blast. In fact, a new world opened up for me when I joined the Chordaires Show Chorus.

Most of the Chordaires are not rookies. In fact, of the five women who joined this year, two have deep experience in music. One left music behind her after high school, and two (including me) have almost no music background.

I once read that if you’re green, you’re growing. And who hasn’t read that lifelong learning is a key to longevity and happiness. I vowed upon retirement to keep learning and expanding my horizons. Chordaires was a match made in heaven. I learn something new at every practice session. Most importantly, I learned that I love singing in a chorus.

Barb Hyder has been a member of Sweet Adelines, an international women’s barbershop chorus organization, for 40 years. She directed a Sweet Adelines group and competed internationally. Before that, she sang in a lounge band and earlier in a folk band. She also plays guitar and piano. She discovered the Chordaires through an open house last October when she and her husband moved to Cottonwood Palo Verde from Missouri.

“The most valuable thing about being in a women’s chorus is the socializing,” she said. “The women here have such diverse backgrounds, so much experience. I love learning about them and from them. I love being with them and sharing what I know with other people.”

Gretchen Ohlgart rediscovered an old relationship with music through Chordaires. She was enticed to join at an open house last October. Though she played flute in the marching band, sang in the high school chorus, and took piano lessons for years, she hasn’t done anything musical since then. After attending one Chordaires practice, she was hooked.

Judy Vuich was a music teacher in the public schools in Tower Lakes, Ill. She also is a retired director and still teaches guitar, piano, and voice privately. She came to Chordaires after reading about the group in the Splash shortly after she and her husband moved to Cottonwood.

Patsy Krueger, a newcomer in Oakwood, is an artist in various media but has no music background. “I went to the open house and met Sandy Bocyneski and Denise Van Dyke. They assured me I would be welcome, even though I have no experience,” she said.

Patsy told me about the group while chatting over the fence in our backyards. We went to a practice together and signed up.

If you want to see if Chordaires might be a match for you, contact me at [email protected]