“It’s difficult for some reason to find men who are interested or maybe they just don’t hear about it,” said Sharon Harris, who has performed with the Etowah Valley Chorale since its inception in 2007. “So right now that’s what we’re trying to do too is to get more men to join us. We know there are a lot of beautiful [men’s voices] in this town. [For the Christmas concert], we’re going to get some really beautiful music. It’s four-part music, actually it will probably be six parts, because we’ll have first alto, second alto, first soprano, second soprano. And then we’ve got bass and tenor.
“The women are very stong in their voices because we’ve got a lot of women, although we welcome other women, too, by the way. But you need a certain number of men to balance that because there’s all these parts and the parts work together. So the men’s voices just really give it that depth, because they’ve got the lower voices — the bass and the tenor. We also sometimes have solos for basses and tenors. So to have the sound really sound good and really sound like the music was written to sound, you have to have all the voices represented.”
With no audition required, rehearsals for the Christmas concert will begin Sept. 9 on Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. at Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church’s Family Life Center, 100 W. Church St. in Cartersville. Annual membership fees — which will financially help cover sheet music — will be $35 per vocalist.
To be held at three venues, the productions will be presented Dec. 5, 6 and 8.
“There will be some traditional Christmas carols. [The audience also] will [have the opportunity to] join in and sing,” Chorale Director Brian McLeod said. “There will be some other things that aren’t necessarily what people would think of as things you would normally see at a Christmas concert. But it all blends in to be, we hope, a quite meaningful experience for those going into the holidays.
“This is the first time we’ve taken on a Christmas concert. In the past, we’ve only done spring shows and shows in the fall. This year, we’re starting back after a bit of an absence and ... I thought it would be a great idea to bring a Christmas concert to the community.”
In previous years, the Etowah Valley Chorale performed the pair of annual concerts at various venues, including Sam Jones Memorial UMC, The Grand Theatre and Clarence Brown Civic Center.
“The voices just work together,” Harris said. “You start out and maybe you don’t know the song, and you think ‘I don’t know if I can sing this or not,’ but then you practice and it all comes together into this beautiful music. There’s just something joyful about that. It’s a wonderful feeling, and I think everybody feels that way.
“... [The chorale has] been a tremendous benefit [to the community], because a lot of people want to sing and they don’t have an opportunity to sing. Some people sing in their choirs and some people can’t sing in the choirs for whatever reason, maybe their schedule doesn’t allow for it or also they may want to sing some other music, not just church music. So it gives you ... a chance to sing [spiritual songs], Broadway songs, old favorites, that kind of thing. ... So it gives someone an opportunity to sing something different from what they might get a chance to sing otherwise.”
For more information about joining the chorale, call Harris at 678-523-3230.