Singers from Lehighton, Palmerton, Pleasant Valley and Weatherly joined forces on Feb. 18 for a Carbon County Chorus concert held at Palmerton Area High School. They played to a nearly full house and the program was enthusiastically received.
Kimberly Varano of Palmerton performed a solo as part of the opening song, "For the Beauty of the Earth."
Palmerton director Joe Plechavy said Pleasant Valley was included since PV students began participating in the Carbon County band.
He introduced the other individual school music directors, including David Perkins from Lehighton, Lois Mann from Pleasant Valley, and Shannon Shughart from Weatherly. Mann joined him in providing piano accompaniment.
"We all like to sing with the group. We had a good time today," said Plechavy.
Guest conductor Randall Perry joined them for a day of rehearsals that began at 8:30 a.m. It was interspersed with some socialization and fraternalization.
"Music is important but there are other things about growing up in school such as making new friends. Some of the music was quite difficult," Plechavy said, explaining why there was a limited number of songs in the program.
The individual directors worked with the students so they were familiar with the music when they came together for the final rehearsals. They chose those who participated from high school chorus members who indicated they would enjoy the experience.
Plechavy said it would be his last time hosting the chorus because he was retiring, but he planned to attend the performance in future years.
Perry served in the position of guest conductor previously. He began his career with church music at age 11. Currently, he serves as organist and master of the choristers at St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Trexlertown. His original music has been performed by church choirs and the Bach and Handle Chorale.
Perry teaches piano and brass instruments in his Perry Music Studio in Jim Thorpe.
Samantha Cerimele of Lehighton performed the solo for "The Lord Is My Shepherd."
How would you like a fly in your soup? That is what the young performers had as they sang the "Banquet Fugue."
Catherine Varley of Lehighton sang the solo for "The Lone Wild Bird." The chorus was joined by Lydia Anthony and Kalyn Lehr on flute.
The flautists also accompanied "God's Simple Gifts."
Audience members didn't know what was happening when the choristers broke out in a spell of coughing. The sudden illness even affected Perry. Tissues were passed down the line of musicians. The coughing just as suddenly stopped and the next song began, "Cold and Fugue Season" from Bach's Fugue in G Minor."
Words of the song included "We keep on sneezing and sneezing," and ended with a huge "Ah-choo."
Sopranos participating were: Rebekah Ahner, Palmerton; Kara Beck, Lehighton; Cassandra Berger, P; Eliza Busher, Weatherly; Nicole Caccese, W; Samantha Cerimele, L; Melanie Clabia, W; Brittany Defrain, P; Jaime Dougherty, W; Tracy Gelada, W; Ellen George, P; Monica Handwerk, P; Brielle Hartman, P; Olivia Haydt, P, Evy Heckman, L; Rebecca Hoffner, L; Kalyn Lehr, P; Sarah Nanovic, L; Sarah Northstein, L; Kenzie Teno, L; and Kimberly Varano, P.
Altos were: Lydia Anthony, P; Allyson Arndt, P; Sarah Bednar, L; Karli Binder, L; Amanda Bowers, L; Audrey Graham, W; Christina Graham, W; Kaitlin Green, L; Kristine Hansen, W; Brittany Hinkle, W; Amber Hoffman, W; Elyse Kistler, L; Danielle Kutz, P; Rebecca Moyer, W; Brianna Oswald, L; Suzanne Reigle, W; Angela Taldone, Pleasant Valley; Catherine Varley, L; Ashley Whiteman, P; Katlyn Zeigafuse, P; and Amber Ziegenfus, PV.
Tenors were: Kirk Arner, L;, Matthew Behler, L; Wyatt Easterly, L; Adam Gianonne, W; Frank "Jay" Hall, P; Kyle Harris, W; Nathan Pfieffer, P; William Sharbaugh, L; and Geordan Vincent, L.
Basses were: Nicholas Bock, P; John Decker, PV; Daniel Douglas, W; Brandon Frable, PV; Marcus Kunkle, L; Justin Plocinik, L; Andrew Russo, PV; Kevin Seemill.
The program concluded with "May the Road Rise Up to Meet You."