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New women’s choral group on Whidbey holds debut concert
FREELAND — The 11 women were wearing red for the photo shoot, accessorized with smiles and a healthy dose of energetic excitement.
They are the new women’s choral singing group “Chanteuse,” and they were in rehearsal for their first concert.
“Try it without your sheet music,” director Cheryl Veblen told them.
Some of the women bravely placed their sheets out of reach, and shook the nervousness from their hands.
Chanteuse is the brainchild of Veblen and singers Mavis Cauffman and Kathy Parks.
When they weren’t rehearsing the program, the women effusively sang Veblen’s praises. They had eagerly encouraged her to take on the role of choral director as some of them have studied singing privately with her. The singers also include Kattee Bierce, Marcie Culver, Kathleen Landel, Diane Lantz, Dorothy Moffat, Joann Roomes and Linda Wadsworth.
The group will perform this weekend at the Langley United Methodist Church at Third Street and Anthes Avenue in Langley. The program is titled “Sing Me a Love Song” and the concert is at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13.
“Our intent is not to take away from the other singing groups on the island,” Veblen said, “but to add a new dimension. We sing only the finest choral music for women’s voices.”
“Plus the Super Bowl will be over and our concert will provide people with something to do with their football withdrawal,” Wadsworth added.
Indeed, in what might be the very opposite entertainment from football, the concert is just in time to celebrate the month of love, with songs especially chosen for Valentine’s Day.
The women will perform such songs as “Love Will Make the Spirit Grow,” “Rise Up, My Love,” “Set Me As A Seal,” “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” “I Carry Your Heart,” Au Joli Jeu,” “Blossoms,” “Sing Me to Heaven,” “Heart, We Will Forget Him,” “Oh, My Love’s Like A Red Red Rose,” “The Last Blue Rose,” and “Not To Say Goodbye,” among other love-inspired songs.
The concert includes the accompaniment of Jessica Foley at the piano, the cellist Siri Bardarson and Karl Olsen as a guest baritone. Some of the songs will also include dancing by Jennifer Bondelid.
After enduring a photo shoot, the women were eager to turn their attention back to the music. Veblen said she was lucky to have found herself with such willing singers.
“I am just amazed at how much talent exists here,” Veblen said.
“I feel extremely honored and humbled to be directing you wonderful, talented ladies who give me much more than I could ever give you,” she said.
Tickets are a suggested donation of $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students, $5 for those younger than 10. Partial proceeds from ticket sales will go to local women’s shelters and to a scholarship fund for young women who plan to study voice in college.