Choirs Benefit Families and Community Members By Cassandra Brown D uring the holiday season, many choirs hold concerts for the community to enjoy. These concerts can convey joy, healing, and support. Not only can a choir provide mental and social benefits, but it can also offer the support found in an extended family. From doctors and musicians to teachers and bank employees, choirs bring together local residents of all backgrounds. Choir members work together for the common Warrenton Chorale, Warrenton Upcoming 60th Anniversary concerts: 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5th and Friday, Dec. 6th, as well as 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7th at the Warrenton United Methodist Church Blue Ridge Chorale, Culpeper Upcoming concerts: 7 p.m. on Nov. 22nd at Prince Michel Vineyards; 3 p.m. on Dec. 1st at the State Theatre; 7 p.m. on Dec. 16th at the Warrenton Community Center with the Fauquier Community Band Manassas Chorale, Manassas home.aspx Upcoming concert: 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7th at the Hylton Performing Arts Center goal of providing a source of secular and sacred music to their communities. “I would like to believe that by singing the pieces of music during these times, it will instill a sense of joy and pleasure in their lives,” Jean Hines, a singer in the Warrenton Chorale, explained. The variety of music performed gives choir members a different cultural experience. Many compositions come from centuries ago and may be sung in foreign languages. The Blue Ridge Chorale performing their 2012 Christmas concert at From Bach to John Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church. Rutter, “successful community chorales the outlet of music, new singing experience helps, all provide access to beautiful friends, and a new direction that is required to join them is and interesting music for both for what talent and skill I could a love of singing and a passion singers and audiences,” Carolyn offer,” Ms. Osborne said. to learn. Osborne, a singer in the Blue With youth chorales Both choirs require a Ridge Chorale, said. encompassed in many local seasonal membership fee A choir can also act as a programs, singing can become to cover the cost of music. support system within the a family event. Practices for the holiday community. For Jean Hines, “I see children learning concerts have already begun. a singer in the Warrenton teamwork, cooperation, New members are encouraged Chorale, the choir represents focus and poise; families and to join at the beginning of the her family away from home. couples enjoying performing new season, in the months “Over the years, I have had music together; busy working after the holiday concerts. some very serious medical folks finding that singing Children who wish to problems - the Chorale has decompresses and energizes participate in the Warrenton immediately been at my side them, and retirees enjoying Youth Chorale must be at least for support, love, anything I continuing growth and nine years old. Children who might need,” Mrs. Hines who productivity in the Chorale’s wish to participate in the Blue sings first soprano, said. welcoming atmosphere,” Ms. Ridge Chorale must be between For many, music provides Osborne said. the ages of seven and fourteen. healing. Ms. Osborne started “Chorale means increasing singing in a choral group seven our own skills and getting to Cassandra Brown is a years ago, after her husband freelance writer and know our neighbors,” Ms. died. She now sings with the photographer who lives in a Osborne said. log cabin in Fauquier County. Blue Ridge Chorale in Culpeper The Warrenton Chorale and She enjoys singing, hiking and as a first alto. Blue Ridge Chorale are nonballroom dancing. “In choral singing, I found audition choirs. While previous 18 Piedmont Family Magazine 2013 • Issue 6