© Andrew Wagstaff - The Citizen-Record
The Parrsboro Citizens' Choir has been meeting every Thursday at the band hall and will perform at the Parrsboro Citizens' Band spring concert on May 27.
PARRSBORO - They don't look the same or sound the same, but there is one thing the new Parrsboro Citizens' Choir members have in common - fun. The new group, under the direction of David Towns, has been meeting weekly at the band hall, learning, laughing and loving music. And they are always open and inviting to new members, according to Towns. "It's open to anyone who loves to sing," he said. "You don't have to be a great choral performer. If you sing in the shower and can't carry a tune in a bucket, come on out and sing. It's for fun, and they're learning." The choir started out as a one-off performance at a recent gospel concert held as a fundraiser for Frank Hartman's Relay for Life team, according to Towns. "Someone said, 'Wouldn't it be neat if a choir could perform a couple tunes?'" he said. "As usual, it was all talk and nobody was willing to say, 'Yes, let's do something about it.' I made the mistake of saying I would help organize. Everyone kind of missed the world 'help'." The next thing Towns knew, he had 10-12 people expressing keen interest. He contacted Joyce Murray, who agreed to accompany the group on piano, and then he lined up the rehearsal space at the Parrsboro Band Hall. In fact, the band was so supportive that it agreed to sponsor the new choir, which is now named the Parrsboro Citizens' Choir. As for the concert, it was held on April 15, and the choir performed four songs and the national anthem. Response was tremendous. "I think we surprised a lot of people," said Towns. "They were kind of expecting a church choir thing, which is not really a big sound, or they were expecting a big sound all in unison. This is four-part harmony, a completely different choral presentation." The group has a current membership of about 33-34, with an average of 22-224 showing up on most rehearsal nights. They have been working on new pieces of music, including "Ode to Joy," the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony in both English and German, as well as "Barbara Ann" by The Beach Boys. They are also working on some different choral techniques. "It's grown into something with incredible potential," he said. "Basically, all I'm trying to do is bring out their abilities as a group, and build their confidence." The choir will next perform at the Parrsboro Citizens' Band's spring concert on May 27, and is looking at other possibilities, including some outdoor performances.