Spring is here, you can feel it in the air! The tulips are poking their heads out of the ground, the wildlife babies are already born (way too early this year) and you can watch the leaf buds that started in February begin to grow again.
This month we have several ways to celebrate our long-awaited spring. First off is a delightful Spring Tea which will brush away the gloom of winter with lots of goodies, on Wednesday, April 10th, from 1–3 p.m. at St John’s Anglican Church at the corner of Ridout St. E and Bidwell. The tea is hosted by the Outreach Committee and the cost is $5 at the door with the proceeds going to Camp Wendake which is for the victims of AIDS and their families.
Spring always brings to mind an old Rogers and Hart song called Spring is Here. What you don’t normally hear is this verse: “Once there was a thing called spring, when the world was writing verses like yours and mine. All the lads and girls would sing when we set at little tables and drank May wine.”
Well, I know we won’t be at a table drinking wine but our ‘elder’ lads and lasses will be singing Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Senior Centre Singers Spring Concert. Once again the Tillsonburg Community Centre Lion’s Auditorium will be filled to hear this wonderful 75-member choir sing us into spring.
I love getting the list of songs from director Rachel Parker, because I always find some of my favourite songs from musicals. This year is no different with selections from Gigi, like The Night They Invented Champagne. We will have to see if they do the Maurice Chevalier accent when they sing, Thank Heaven For Little Girls.
There is nothing like a rousing chorus of Oklahoma to get the heart pumping. But there are other songs in this show that have been sung for decades by all ages. Who doesn’t know Oh, What A Beautiful Morning, and the cowboy’s classic song about his magical ride, The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top. But perhaps the most beautiful of all is People Will Say We’re In Love.
Then there is The Music Man with the rousing 76 Trombones and the wonderful barbershop quartet tune, Lida Rose. From the more modern musical lovers there is the awesome You Can Hear The People Sing from Les Miserables.
Rachael offers a much more varied production than just musicals so you will also enjoy the stirring spiritual Take Me To the River and the classic hymn You Light Up My Life and many other numbers including the well known The Glory of Love, and Riversong.
I don’t think most people understand what goes into producing a concert of this magnitude. First off music has to be purchased (and it is not cheap) and there are the rehearsals which are always varied depending on how many of the 75 members happen to be in town. Lots of practising, going over it and over it until they get it right with accompanist Shelley Vermeersch. For the actual concert there are tickets to be made and sold, advertising, publicity and the transportation of the risers compliments of Verne’s Carpet One’s truck and Grant Nunn’s driving it to and from Kitchener. The risers’ rental alone costs $900! Then there is the Lion’s Auditorium rental about $600 for set up and the show. Jack Parker, Rachel’s husband is producer and Stage Manager, the stage crew is made up of the singers helping.
Fortunately, being the Senior Centre Singers, they get to rehearse at the Centre and are very grateful to the staff, Nancy and Karen, and the Senior Centre Board of Directors for all they do to help and support.
For all the expenses that they have, the ticket price is only $12 and out of that a donation is made to Stephen Lewis’s Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers. This organization helps grandmothers in Africa who are raising their grandchildren for a missing generation, as their parents are either dead or dying from AIDS. Thus far The Singers have donated over $20,000 to the grandmothers!
You now have a couple of weeks advance notice to get your tickets for this the Singer’s 18th Spring Concert, but do not procrastinate, for this group usually sells out. You can get tickets from anyone of the singers or the Senior Centre by calling 519-688-2520.
If you have any question about the Senior Centre Singers, perhaps you would like to join, or offer assistance, you can contact the Parkers at 519-842-8122.