The Stillwater Community Singers will hold their annual Christmas Concert on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stillwater Community Center Winfrey Houston Theater. The concert is free to public and is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
Founded in 1994 by Tom and Beth, the Stillwater Community Singers were originally known as original the Stillwater Civic Chorale. After the Andersons moved to Houston the following year, the name changed to Stillwater Community Singers and Directors were selected from within the chorus. Of the more than fifty members in the choir, thirteen have been with the group since the beginning.
The Stillwater Community Singers’ goal is to serve the Stillwater area community with an entertaining experience. The Community Singers present concerts featuring a wide variety of songs including pop, jazz, blues, showtunes, gospel, and more. Made up entirely of volunteers, the singers are not professional musicians, they just love music. Members range in age from 20 to 90+ and come from a variety of occupations and backgrounds.
We heard from four dedicated Stillwater Community Singers about the upcoming Christmas concert, how they got involved with the choir, and what being a Community Singer means to them.
Kim Strom, Accompanist said:
“Having played the piano since I was 5 ½ years old, I have learned to use music as an expression of feelings, an avenue to release stress, and a way to connect with complete strangers. When my path crossed with the Stillwater Community Singers over 20 years ago, I was welcomed into a family of musicians who had the same passion for music.
“The music selection, directors and choir members have changed over the years but what remains constant is being surrounded by wonderful, loving people who enjoy expressing themselves through musical performances. It is common to hear laughter, words of encouragement and see individuals working diligently each rehearsal to prepare for the next performance. How blessed I am to be a part of such a fabulous choir.
“Preparing for the Christmas concert is my favorite part of each year. Whether secular or non-secular, our repertoire always offers something for everyone. I cannot wait to hear the crowd reaction to our selections this December. And of course, we enjoy performing at company Christmas parties to bring some holiday joy to those in the community.”
Paula Fitch, Co-Director of the Women’s Chorus said:
“As performers, we get the privilege of starting the Christmas season early. Right after labor day we start getting those well-loved songs in our minds as we prepare for our Christmas concert. For us it’s never too early to start thinking about snowmen, reindeer, Santa, hopes of a white Christmas, and the promise that was fulfilled with the birth of one special child.
“Throughout September, October, and November we focus on the technical aspects of each song we are preparing. We laugh at our persistent mistakes and take joy in the moments when it just seems to all come together. Somehow, as we get closer to that night of performance, the pieces that we have worked on since September really become a part of us that we just can’t shake off. We are excited at the opportunity to share the gift we’ve been crafting for weeks with the community at our Christmas concert in December.”
Paula Shryock, Co-Director of the Women’s Chorus said:
“One of my earliest and fondest memories—at 6 years of age—I stood next to our piano and sang for my mom’s home extension club. I have been singing ever since! So it was very natural for me to seek out and join a community chorus. Stillwater Community Singers is a wonderful group of people who love to sing. We have sung together so long that we are now a family. I have so much fun at Thursday rehearsals and preparing for concerts. I can’t even picture my life without this group or without music.”
Judy White, Director of the Mixed Chorus said:
“When I joined this group in 1994, I had been looking for a way to scrape the rust off of my vocal chords and sing with a chorus. I harmonize, I do not have a solo voice, so joining a chorus that sings the music I love was just what I wanted and needed. Christmas is the time of year when all types of music can be heard and sung, so it’s natural to sing traditional and novelty songs for the same season. Making music with this group energizes me in a way I don’t understand, but I sure enjoy it.
“This will be our 24th Christmas concert and we’ll have some of the same music we sang at our first one: ‘White Christmas’, ‘Carol of the Bells’, and we’ll add ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain’, a medley called ‘A Classical Christmas’, and many more.
“It’s easy to be an audience member. The concert will be on Thursday December 14, 7:30pm in the Houston Theater of the Stillwater Community Center. As always, a reception will follow in the Lowry Activity Center.
“It’s just as easy to join us as a singer. We meet every Thursday at 6:45pm in the North Stage Room at the Community Center. The Mixed Chorus rehearses until 8:15pm, then the Women’s Chorus rehearses until about 9:00pm.”