A collaboration of area voices will unite in concert for three performances this weekend as the Community Singers of Lake Norman presents its spring production of “All Aboard” in the theater at Pine Lake Preparatory School in Mt. Mourne.
The spring musical, featuring music saluting and celebrating the South, will be the second seasonal show for the 10-month-old choral group of local residents who share a passion for raising their voices in song.
“It’s a group of folks who just love to sing,” member and spokesperson Joanne Ahern said about the Community Singers. “There really isn’t one general category that applies to everybody. There are people of all ages, all backgrounds and all kinds of voices, but our love of singing brought us together. And it’s a lot of fun.”
Ahern said the idea for organizing a community singing group began last summer as a casual conversation among friends.
“It was a few people who knew each other, and knew they liked to sing, who started talking,” she said. “Pretty soon, the word spread, and in August we had our first rehearsal.”
Now the group, depending on the season and the schedule, includes 60 to 80 singers from throughout the Lake Norman region and beyond.
“Most of the people are from north Mecklenburg,” Ahern said, “but really the entire region is represented. We’ve got a member from south Charlotte, and it’s open to anyone who wants to participate.”
A mix of sounds and skills
Ahern described the members of the group as individuals with an “enthusiastic” interest in singing and being a part of a creative, entertaining process.
“There are some really beautiful voices in the group,” she said, “and some who have learned to carry a tune in a bucket and fit their voices in with the others, but we all enjoy being a part of it.”
She said the group, with members ranging from young people fresh out of college to retirees, have varied musical backgrounds.
“There are several people who have trained singing voices and others who may have only sung in the shower,” she said, “but it all comes together.”
And in repeating a statement that is part of the group’s description on the Community Singers website, Ahern said the only criteria for participation is a love of singing and a willingness to learn.
She said Charles Morrow, the group’s musical director, does a good job of identifying talented voices and helping the group deliver a quality sound. Moore, who earned degrees in sacred choral music and vocal performance at Lenoir-Rhyne University, has directed music programs at several schools and churches in the area in addition to his role as the Community Singers leader.
“Charles does a wonderful job blending our voices,” Ahern said, “and he also is a good teacher. He helps us learn how to sing as a group.”
And she said Marla Young, a chorus teacher in Cabarrus County and music director at Broad Street United Methodist Church in Mooresville, provides outstanding service as the group’s accompanist.
“She’s a wonderful piano player,” Ahern said, “but she plays so well with our group, and sometimes it’s not easy for a very talented musician to adjust their playing style to fit others.”
Singers, supporters welcome
Those interested in learning more about the Community Singers can visit www.lakenormansings.com. Currently, those joining the group are asked to pay a fee to help cover the cost of sheet music and supplies and to provide a stipend for Moore and Young. But financial support from community residents, corporations and civic organizations is also welcome.