Here come the Park City Treble Makers
May 17, 2016
In the past four years, the Park City Treble Makers, the all-female a cappella choir, has brought its 16-voiced choral arrangements to audiences throughout the area.
On Sunday, May 22, the choir will present its third annual spring concert at 4 p.m. The venue this year will be the Park City Community Church, said director Shelle Jennings, who, along with singers Kristen Brown, Renée Mox Hall and Sarah Klingenstein, spoke with The Park Record at the Jennings residence.
"The first year we were at the Swaner EcoCenter, which was a lovely venue, but we outgrew it," Jennings said. "The next two years we were at Temple Har Shalom, and outgrew that place as well."
Jennings searched other venues, and considered the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium or the Egyptian Theatre.
"But we knew the concert would be held towards the end of May and it’s so beautiful up here that I wanted to perform someplace where there were windows where the light could come in," Jennings said. "While we were looking for a new venue, someone suggested we approach Park City Community Church."
Jennings stopped by to talk with Pastor Tracy Hausman.
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"She said yes and gave me a cost, but then said, ‘You know, we might be able to do a trade if your group would come and sing at a Sunday morning service,’" Jennings said. "So, we polled the group and everyone was willing to perform Sunday, May 15, which meant we didn’t have to spend any money. She didn’t need to do that, but it was so sweet of her."
The works the Park City Treble Makers plan to sing include a variety of showtunes, choral and madrigal pieces.
"We’ll do a number called the ‘Mouse Madrigal,’ which is a spoof that is really fun," Jennings said. "We’ll also do ‘Somewhere Out There’ from the film ‘An American Tail’ and that is one of my favorites, but then I cry easily."
The choir will also perform a new arrangement of the "Star-Spangled Banner," a setting of the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts," Carole King’s "(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman," a setting of "Shenendoah" arranged by Howard Helvey, an American folk song called "The Water Is Wide" and a madrigal piece called "Tell Me Where Is Fancy Bred," which is inspired by William Shakespeare’s play "The Merchant of Venice."
"We just love ‘Simple Gifts,’ and one our soloists, Katrina Kmak, just wails wonderfully on ‘(You Make Me Feel) Like a Natural Woman,’" Jennings said. "Since she is getting married soon, we felt this was perfect for her."
The most taxing number of the performance is "Shenendoah," according to Jennings.
"That said, it’s spectacular," she said. "It is also a very contemporary setting of the song, which is unusual, but so fun."
The concert will also feature an a cappella rendition of Bill Withers’ "Lean on Me," a King’s Singers arrangement of "You Are the New Day," the Stevie Wonder version of "What a Wonderful World," and two songs made famous by Bette Midler — "From a Distance" from the movie "Beaches" and the title song from "The Rose."
This year’s concert will be dedicated to the late Dr. Fredric Cook.
Cook, the co-founder of the Utah Conservatory, passed way on March 24.
"We have had so many wonderful and positive experiences with folks in the community, but Dr. Cook, from the first performance, championed us," she said. "He was so encouraging. He adopted us and made us feel like the sky is the limit. To have somebody like Dr. Cook feel about us the way he did made us feel like a million bucks. We will miss him."
Although the concert is free, donations will be accepted. The money will be donated to The Peace House, a nonprofit dedicated to wiping out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties..
This is the second year the choir will give the donations to Peace House. In the past, the choir has donated to the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter as well.
"We made a determination early on that we were not going to be a money-making organization," Jennings said. "We are funded by the generosity of those people who are willing to give us grants, primarily the Park City Rotary and the Sunrise Rotary. However, for us to perform, we decided that we would work with the nonprofits so we could give back to the community in a way that would be pleasurable to everybody."
In addition to the growth in concert attendance, there has also been a rise in the confidence of the singers.
"We’re all different women," said Kristen Brown. "We all sing different parts, but it all comes together in a lovely, unified way. I think that is what makes this so special."
Renée Mox Hall concurred.
"What Kristen said is like an analogy," she said. "All of these parts come together to make a beautiful whole. We all have separate voices, but together they make something beautiful."
The Park City Treble Makers will perform its annual spring concert at Park City Community Church, 4501 N. S.R. 224, on Sunday, May 22, at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted.