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Spring singing

The Park City Singers, a local, non-audition community choir, hasn’t done a spring concert for about five years, so the upcoming concerts on May 15 and 17 will be a milestone, said choir director Debra Cook.

"Part of the reason we haven’t had a concert this time of year was because a lot of residents in Park City are seasonal," Cook told The Park Record. "They come for the winter and then are gone, so it makes it difficult to recruit enough singers."

This year was different, however, because of the interest sprouted during last winter’s holiday show, she said.

"After the successful Christmas concert, we had people ask if we were going to do a spring concert," Cook said. "After polling the singers, it looked like we had enough people on board to put together a good group."

The singers still had to make mental adjustments to gear up for the spring singing, Cook said.

"This was something new for us, and we had a bit of a rocky start, because they were used to taking it easy," she said. "Now, they’ve kind of settled in and committed to the schedule. I’ve also been delighted with these last few rehearsals and the kind of sound we’ve been getting, particularly the men’s section. I don’t think we’ve had as good as men’s section in a long time."

The upcoming concerts will focus on lively, well-known pieces, Cook said.

"We thought something light and fun for the spring would be fun," she said. "So we’re doing songs from Broadway."

Cook promised some lighthearted and familiar tunes set in some catchy arrangements.

"We’re going to be doing quite a bit of Rogers & Hammerstein, which are all hummable tunes," she said. "The performance will be something the audience will enjoy and get into insomuch we may find some people will be singing a long with us in the audience."

The Singers, whose ages range from early 20s to mid-80s, are also planning to do a "Godspell" showcase and a Cole Porter medley, Cook said.

"’Godspell’ has some wonderful songs that we’re going to do, and the Cole Porter works are going to be sung to a jazz-bass line that’s played on the piano," she said. "I’m so excited for people to hear it."

Wait, there’s more, Cook said.

"We’re doing ‘One’ from ‘A Chorus Line’ and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Love Changes Everything, from ‘Aspects of Love,’" she said. "Then we’re going to pull out some old classic works like ‘Try to Remember’ from ‘The Fantasticks,’ and an Alan Menkin piece called ‘God Help the Outcasts.’"

A teen vocalist will sing that song, Cook said.

"We’ve invited a number of young soloists, who auditioned last month, to sing with us," she said. "There were five solos available for the production."

Lastly, the singers plan to gather a children’s chorus for a song called "One Small Voice," Cook said.

"It’s the only song not from a movie musical," she said. "It’s from the ‘Sesame Street’ children’s show, and the last time we sang it was in 2002 for the Winter Games. We thought it would be appropriate to bring it back and have children sing it."

Choosing the songs for the program was a pleasure, Cook said.

"We like to put our programs together by committee," she said. "It’s always a delight when members of the board come in and throw out some suggestions while going through the library of music we have.

"I try to take their suggestions and put together an entertaining program for the community," she said.

Community has always been the focus of the Park City Singers, said Cook, who, along with her husband Dr. William Cook of the Utah Conservatory, founded the Park City Singers in 1998.

"We have a lot of people in Park City who come from diverse and accomplished backgrounds," she said. "Our goal is to show them that it takes a certain level of professional commitment, and not just a level of talent, that makes a good program.

"Even though we’re a community chorus, one of the elements that creates a level of professionalism is the way we present ourselves and our sound. It just takes commitment, time and effort.

"The spring concerts are going to be a beautiful, and I think people will be pleased to hear some of their neighbors and children in town sing these songs."

The Park City Singers will present two concerts this spring. The first will be held Sunday, May 15, at the Park City Community Church, 4501 S.R. 224, and Tuesday, May 17, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road. Both concerts begin at 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. For more information, visit http://www.parkcitysingers.com.


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