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Park City Singers to welcome new and returning members

Once the weather starts to cool, the Park City Singers rehearsals aren’t too far away.

The group, which will begin its rehearsals on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at the Park City Community Church, emerged from various church choirs 17 years ago and has continued to entertain throughout the Park City and Summit County community.

Marty Stattin is one of those original vocalists.

"We were originally a church choir at the Park City Community Church and there was a woman named Helen Finch, who was an extraordinary musician, who directed and played concerts all at once because she loved music," Stattin said during an interview with The Park Record. "Everyone loved singing with her, so we started the Singers and began recruiting vocalists from other churches.

"We opened it to just a group of people who were singing for the enjoyment and not just for church choirs," she said. "That was when we started to become more of a community choir."

For their 2012-13 season, the Park City Singers will present three Christmas Concerts and a spring concert in May.

"We already have the Christmas ones planned," Stattin said. "After those are finished, we’ll take January off and then start rehearsing for the spring show.

"This year we will have 13 rehearsals, altogether."

The rehearsals run 1-½ hours and are held every Tuesday, except for Thanksgiving weekend.

"During those rehearsals, we have solo and small-group auditions to see who of us can do those parts," Stattin said. "We go through a lot of music."

The challenge of maintaining a music group like the Park City Singers in Park City is the fact that many of the residents have second houses in other parts of the world.

"Not everybody sings for both the Christmas concert and the spring concert, because Park City is a mobile community," Stattin said. "Last year, we had 60 singers for the Christmas concert and we had 40 for this year’s spring concert. If some people can’t be here for rehearsals, they may just want to do one or the other. Some people do both, though. We sign on for each concert separately."

Still, during the fall, many of the choir members return to Park City for the winter season. To help each other get reacquainted this year, the group will hold a welcome-back picnic at the High Star Ranch in Kamas on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m.

"Kim Steed, who is a wonderful soprano, manages the ranch with her husband and last year the Singers went up there for a picnic," Stattin said. "Since it was so much fun, we decided to do it again."

The gathering allows the singers to mingle, talk and get to know new members.

"In the past couple of years, we’ve had a significant increase of new members," Stattin said. "I’d say we have had 10 to 13 new singers each year.

"We have probably seven or eight original members like me still with us," she said.

Although the Park City Singers holds auditions for select groups within itself, joining the choir is easy.

"We are a non-audition choir, so anyone who loves to sing and can carry a tune is welcome to sing with us," Stattin said. "The important thing is to make sure they come to rehearsals."

As a community choir, the Park City Singers has performed in various events, including the 2002 Olympics.

"We had a large concert at the Eccles Center and had a wonderful audience that was made up of local residents and people who were in town for the Games," Stattin said.

Throughout its existence, the Park City Singers has had five different directors.

"Currently, the director is Debra Cook, of the Utah Conservatory, and Shelle Jennings is still our wonderful accompanist," Stattin said. "It’s been great fun working with these ladies."

Stattin has loved singing since she was a child.

"Music is a pretty special medium for me," she said. "Singing lifts your spirits and it’s a nice thing to enjoy doing in the community."

The Park City Singers will hold a Welcome Back Singing Party at High Star Ranch in Kamas on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 4 p.m. The choir will also begin rehearsals on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 7:15 p.m. For more information, call Marty Stattin at (435) 649-9443.


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