“This is the third year we’ve done it,” said Bill Devine, a member of the Big Chicken Chorus, who will be singing Friday with his fellow Bartow County residents — Dave Elvers, Don Jackson, Mac McKenzie and Jake Simpson. “It’s not the entire chorus because it’s a work day [and] we have a lot of people that work and can’t participate. But out of the 50 guys that we’ve got in the chorus now, we’re going to have about 25 guys come up here to Cartersville to sing. And we don’t charge for it. We do it because basically it’s a good thing to do and I kind of refer to the people we sing to as our best audiences.
“... Obviously, they don’t get a lot of entertainment. Most of them are in difficult situations and we seem to uplift them a little bit when we come to sing to them. It’s obvious if you look at them when we’re singing to them, they get a great deal of enjoyment out of what we do. So it’s as simple as that. We do it because the guys who sing enjoy it and the people that we’re singing to enjoy it.”
During their visits, the Big Chicken Chorus vocalists will perform an assortment of songs, such as “Hello,” “Heart of My Heart,” “I Don’t Know Why?” “Shine on Me,” “Down Our Way,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “My Wild Irish Rose,” “Everybody Loves a Lover,” “Sweet and Lovely” and “Orange Colored Sky.”
Based on previous Cartersville Community Service Day offerings, Jennifer Bell, administrator for Felton Manor Personal Care Home, is looking forward to seeing the residents delight in the Big Chicken Chorus’ presentation.
“I know that the residents thoroughly enjoy hearing music and hearing people sing,” Bell said. “They always look forward to it. We had a resident that lived with us for a couple of years that actually knew one of the chorus members. Bill Devine went to her church. So she kind of initiated them coming to our facility. But she has since passed.
“They bring a warmth and put a smile on the residents’ faces. They see about 25 of them come in — it’s kind of overwhelming but yet they enjoy it quite a bit. And our staff, we love to see our residents take part in entertainment. They usually have a very good crowd that come up to see them perform.”
To help bolster attendance, Devine is reaching out to the friends and family of the care facilities’ residents.
“A lot of times when any kind of entertainment comes into these facilities, I think sometimes it’s difficult for the staff to get everybody out because a lot of people basically want to spend time in [their] room,” Devine said. “... If family or friends know that we’re coming and when we’re coming, they may want to attend, No. 1, and they may encourage their loved ones to come out and see the performance.
“That’s one reason, and we just got confirmation that the full chorus is going to do a full Christmas concert here in Cartersville in December. Obviously, the more exposure we can get — we, being the Big Chicken — the better off we’re going to be as far as drawing people to future performances here in Cartersville.”
For more information about the Big Chicken Chorus, visit www.bigchickenchorus.org.