It really was a grand night for singing, and almost everybody got to the church on time when the Greater Philadelphia Chorale hosted an ice cream social and sing-along at St. Jerome’s on Colfax Street.
The chorale’s members, who will celebrate their 10th year together in December, drew more than 40 people to the event on Aug. 21. They belted out such favorites as June is Bustin’ Out All Over (from Carousel), Castle on a Cloud (from Les Miserables), Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (from Mary Poppins), Get Me to the Church on Time (from My Fair Lady) and State Fair’s It’s a Grand Night for Singing.
Friends Lorraine Gribben and Arlene Pinto from Torresdale, choir members at St. Katherine of Siena R.C. Church, added their experienced vocals to the evening and enjoyed the sing-along in a St. Jerome’s school room.
There was, however, an agenda beyond the good time, said the chorale’s vice president, Cliff Barcliff. The singers are looking for more voices to join their numbers.
They especially need male voices, Barcliff said, quickly adding that everyone is welcome.
Aspiring chorale members don’t need to have had any formal training or even know how to read music, he said.
“You need an ear for melodies and harmonies,” he said, “and you have to love to sing.”
And sing just about anything.
“We’re trying to bring in as big an audience as we can by varying our music,” Barcliff said.
The chorale’s repertoire includes classical and religious music, Christmas carols, jazz, tunes from Broadway and Hollywood, and popular music old and new, said Barcliff and Barbara Kaufold, the organization’s secretary.
“The most difficult pieces to perform,” Barcliff said as he and Kaufold scooped ice cream for their guests last week, “are the ones that people know.”
You have to get those songs right on the money because your audience knows if you made a mistake, he said.
The most fun? That was obvious at the ice cream social.
Show tunes dominated along with some Disney classics like Some Day My Prince Will Come from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Get Me to the Church on Time. Was the night’s big winner. Some of the attendees sounded a little timid as the evening began — after all, they had never sung together before. But when accompanist David Hughes began playing the My Fair Lady favorite, participation — and volume — increased dramatically.
The chorale was founded in 2002 as a community choir. Its members, who currently number 24, perform in Philadelphia and its suburbs. Their 10th anniversary concert will be presented at St. Jerome’s on Dec. 15.
That date is close to Christmas, so the program will have plenty of carols and other holiday music, Barcliff and Kaufold said.
The chorale has performed at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the National Constitution Center and the USS New Jersey.
Chorale rehearsals are held Tuesday evenings at 7 at St. Jerome’s. Anyone interested in joining should contact executive director Chuck Mathues at 215-745-4695. ••EndFragment