Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Community choir taking new members


January 7, 2018

The Aria Singers of Gunbarrel are gearing up for their spring session and ready for people to join up.

The group of women has been around for 10 years, and currently has 28 members.

Julia Luerman is a relatively new member, but said that she is excited to start the spring with new director Mary Chapin Durling.

The choir holds its spring concert in May, with another concert in December. The singers take the summers off.

“We sing a pretty broad spectrum of music,” Luerman said. “It covers a variety of genres, musical periods — classical and contemporary.”

Many of the members have taught music theory or singing skills classes and several play instruments as well, Luerman said.

“It’s an informal group,” Luerman said. “But when we rehearse we do work hard. Our director is really raising the level of the group … It’s a community choir and the choir has become a community in itself.”

Ann Ralph is the pianist and has been a member of Aria Singers since the beginning, along with several others.

They are looking for experienced singers, but there are no auditions for the community choir. Luerman said they are in need of sopranos and altos, but anyone with interest can join in.

Luerman said the group simply enjoys singing and performing.

“I just love the whole experience of singing and learning music,” Luerman said. “And when the ensemble comes together, being in the middle of all of those voices. Once you learn your notes you get to the point where you can work on dynamics and all of the musicality of things — that’s my favorite part — when you get to the point where it transcends just learning music, it becomes musical.”

“It takes you away from the everyday things. It’s about making those moments as musical and beautiful as you can. It makes life fuller, not just working and paying bills. It’s one of those things that can make you a complete person and really enrich your life and bring joy.”

Over the last few years, the group has started to get together more often outside of rehearsals.

“It’s an enjoyable group,” member Jean Rohrschneider said. “We started having more social activities where we can get to know each other. When we’re rehearsing, we’re busy. So that’s nice to have events to spend time together.”

“The group thrives on its camaraderie,” Luerman said. “The inspiration for the music we will perform this spring is Indomitable Spirit and will include a piece of music about Anne Frank.”

The group meets every Thursday from 10 to 11:45 a.m. at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church/Pardes Levavot at 7077 Harvest Road in Gunbarrel. Anyone interested in joining is welcome to come to the Jan. 11 or 18 rehearsals.


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