Today’s Art Talk Monday is from Sallie Rose Hollis with the Piney Hills Harmony, part of Sweet Adelines International. Sallie is assistant director for showmanship and visual expression for Piney Hills Harmony Chorus / Sweet Adelines, as well as baritone section leader.
Everyone’s heard of singing in the rain. This past week Piney Hills Harmony was singing despite the rain – well, most of the time. And even though the local Sweet Adelines chorus was given a one-two punch with the weather last week, its “Good Vibrations – A Cappella Style” event is continuing full force. Women singers are invited to join the chorus rehearsals – and fun – at 6 p.m. every Thursday through August in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston, 212 N. Bonner.
“There’s no time like the present,” Director Sheila Nugent, of Ruston, said. “Come sing with us. The music and friendship will transform your life.”
The summerlong “Good Vibrations” event began June 22 under threat of severe weather with Hurricane Cindy approaching. Never fear, though. Rehearsal was held as usual, and guests did show up to blend their voices with the a cappella group – and, as the saying (somewhat) goes, a good, rollicking, musical time was had by all. Unfortunately, however, Peach Festival officials did have to cancel the chorus’ 11 a.m. Saturday performance in Railroad Park because of the continued threat of rain and the rescheduling of the parade. The next installment of “Good Vibrations – A Cappella Style” is set for July 6 when visitors will have the opportunity to both listen to and sing with the chorus. Piney Hills Harmony members are currently learning a four-part a cappella version of the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” as well as the Beatles’ “Yesterday” and a gospel medley that includes “How Great Thou Art,” “I’ll Fly Away” and more. On tap in the early future is Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair.” “By challenging themselves musically,” Nugent said, “Sweet Adelines develop an unyielding confidence that rolls over into their everyday lives. Members find and reach their full potential both musically and individually.” Musical knowledge is not necessary to visit or to join the chorus, she said, because voice training and music education are valuable components of members’ benefits. Any woman of average singing ability, with or without vocal training, can find a part that fits her voice range with the help of chorus leaders. Piney Hills Harmony members range in age from the teens to the 70s and everywhere in between. People drive in from Shreveport, Minden, Winnfield, Jonesboro, Rayville and elsewhere. “There has to be a big benefit involved for folks to drive such a long way,” President Judy Sisson, of Monroe, said. One 34-year-old Michigan member who underwent her first Sweet Adeline experience when she was 21, explained, “I sang a few tags (endings of songs), heard that harmony surrounding me and was hooked. I … have been a ‘music geek’ ever since.”
So the message to area women is: If you love to sing, join the chorus; join the fun. Whether you are looking to sing on the risers, perform in the community or compete on stage, your voice has a place in our chorus.
For more information call Nugent at (318) 237-3331 or (318) 224-5136. You can also visit www.pineyhillsharmony.org or “Piney Hills Harmony / Sweet Adelines” on Facebook.