The Walters State Sevier County Community Chorale is seeking new members for spring semester.
Candace Armstrong, assistant professor of music of Walters State, conducts the Chorale, which meets from 7-8 p.m. on Tuesday nights in the Conner-Short Center on the campus.
The Chorale, Armstrong explains, is simply a “group of people getting together and singing, just because they like it.”
Some members of the chorus are Walters State students in the Chorale for class credit. Others are community members who sing just for joy.
This may be Armstrong’s first year as part of the Walters State faculty, but she has been involved with music education most of her life. In addition to teaching college, she’s taught at middle and high school levels. She’s also been active in church music.
She imagines many would-be Chorale members share a common fear. What if I can sing, but I can’t read music?
“To participate in the community chorale, all you have to have is a genuine love for music. You don’t need to know how to read music. Most members will learn to read as they continue,” Armstrong said.
She added that the musical numbers are broken down note-by-note during rehearsals.
The music performed by the choir is chosen based on both the interest of members and what fits the range of talent available. Armstrong plans for each concert to feature a variety of music.
“We’ll include some choral music, maybe some pop and perhaps a few show tunes. We hope to have music everyone enjoys and music that grows the talent of our participants,” she explained.
Armstrong said she loves the community atmosphere fostered in a choir. That’s especially true in a resort area like Sevier County, where the Chorale mixes area natives and recent arrivals.
“Singing in a choir builds strong relationships and friendships. You’ll have the chance to meet new people and get to know them as you come together every week,” Armstrong said. This Chorale is special in the regard that age ranges from high school to retirees. Older participants hate to see students graduate and move on. Some students keep coming back as adults.
The Chorale will again begin practices on Jan. 21.
For more information on the Sevier County Community Chorale, contact Laura Ritter, assistant dean of Humanities, at (423) 585-6969 or Armstrong at Candace.Armstrong@ws.edu.