Park City Treble Makers sing into spring
Spring is a time to celebrate warmer weather and new beginnings.
The Park City Treble Makers will get into the spirit of things when the all-female a cappella choir launches its spring season at the Eccles Center on Tuesday. The women will open for the Park City High School Concert Choir at 7 p.m.
"We’re going to do three numbers to give them a little boost," said Shelle Jennings, Park City Treble Makers director, during a Park Record interview with singers Kristen Brown, Reneé Mox Hall and Sarah Klingenstein. "The performance will be in the lobby, which is a wonderful venue for a small group, and you have the windows all around, so you get the wonderful lighting."
Tuesday’s performance will kick off a string of Park City Treble Makers concerts as follows:
The Sunday morning service at Park City Community Church was negotiated by Jennings and Pastor Tracy Hausman.
Jennings was looking for a new venue for the annual spring concert because the Treble Makers have outgrown the past two — Swaner EcoCenter and Temple Har Shalom.
"Because it was going to be an afternoon concert, there was a possibility of us going to the Jim Santy Auditorium in the Park City Library, or to the Egyptian Theatre, Jennings said. "But since the concert will be held at the end of May and it’s so beautiful, I wanted to perform someplace where there were windows where the light could come in."
Someone suggested Park City Community Church.
"I went over to talk with Pastor Tracy to see if we could use the church for the May 20 concert and she said we could rent the building and gave me a price," Jennings said. "But then she said, ‘You know, we might be able to do a trade if your group would come and sing at a Sunday morning service.’"
Jennings polled her singers and they were all willing to do that.
Five days after the Sunday service, the choir will give its annual spring recital at Elk Meadows Assisted Living.
"We perform there every spring and Christmas," Klingenstein said. "They are so appreciative of us."
After the performances at Elk Meadows and Park City Community Church, the Park City Treble Makers will perform the Memorial Day Service on May 20, and then open the Women’s Athenaeum Tea that will be held for Park City High School senior girls and their mothers at Park City High School on May 31.
The Women’s Athenaeum was founded by a group of miners’ wives in 1897 who wanted to perform community service and support education, Klingenstein said.
"This is a wonderful event because it’s for a local organization that has been around since the early days," she said. "It brings together the women of the community and it’s a lovely event to honor the senior girls and their mothers through the passage of graduation."
The pieces the Treble Makers are working on for these spring concerts performances will run the gamut, according to Jennings.
"We’re doing a little of everything," she said. "We’re doing some pop, some Broadway and American folk."
The group will also perform Carole King’s "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."
"That’s going to be fun because one of our singers takes the solo and just wails on that devil," Jennings said.
Another showcase work will be a contemporary rendition of "Ave Maria" that Jennings came across while shopping for music last summer.
"A lot of women go shopping for clothes, but I go shopping for music," Jennings said with a grin. "Anyway, I found a setting that I feel in love with and wanted to bring it to the gals."
Jennings did have some concerns because the choir has steered clear of any kind of sacred music since it formed four years ago.
"Of course, that’s with the exception of anything we do during the Christmas season," Jennings said. "I’m talking about what you would consider ‘church music.’
"Anyway, I found this contemporary setting by Dr. Guy Forbes for Florida State University, and it’s not ‘weird’ contemporary, but absolutely spine tingling," she said. "And the gals have just embraced it, which surprised me because I was a little timid about introducing it."
Klingenstein likes the aura of the work.
"It has an ancient feel about it with the harmonies," she said.
Mox Hall enjoys that the piece will be sung in Latin.
"I actually pictured it being performed in a cloister," she said.
Brown, who joined the choir last autumn, said learning all the works has been a challenge, but the other singers have been so supportive.
"There are 15 memorized songs, not that I kept count," Brown said, making the other three women laugh. "But it’s all been a positive experience for me, because it is so joyful, even if we’re singing something sad or singing something silly. There is an underlying current of positive energy.
"I just started singing with these women and, honestly, it took me a while to learn all 17 of the women’s first names," she said with another laugh. "I mean, I would do anything for them, but I can’t remember their last names."
For more information about the Park City Treble Makers, visit http://www.facebook.com/parkcitytreblemakers.
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Park City High School sophomore Emily Bronstein founded the Seraphine Project that helps at-risk teens in Zimbabwe and Zambia.