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January 8, 2013

Farmington Community Chorus to audition singers for spring concert

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

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The Farmington Community Chorus will hold auditions this month for new members.

FARMINGTON — Adult singers of all voice types who are interested in becoming a member of the Farmington Hills Community Chorus are invited to audition for its 33rd season.

The Farmington Community Chorus was established in 1980, under the sponsorship of the Farmington Hills Parks and Recreation Department, as an activity for community residents. Before then, said Ginny Lindquist, a founding member of the chorus, the group was an all-women chorus.

“We decided that we would really like to become a full choir, with men, so we approached the city of Farmington Hills Department of Parks and Recreation and they said, ‘Sure, we’ll start the Farmington Community Chorus.’ … We started with about 30 women and four men, and now we’re in our 33rd year with over 70 singers,” she said.

The chorus, which also offers an accredited session for Oakland Community College students in partnership with OCC’s music department, has members as young as 18, all the way up to those older than 80. Directed by Steve SeGraves and accompanied by Assistant Director Susan Garr, the chorus performs holiday and spring concerts for the public each year.

“We do everything from show tunes, to pop, to country, to jazz, to classic — we just do it all. All shows are more of a variety show than just a chorus singing because not only do you have the chorus, but you also have what we refer to as small acts — which are soloists or duets. Sometimes there’s a little comedy in there, and we even do some dancing,” said chorus manager Shelly Addison. “We’re not your typical community chorus because we do all of our music memorized — most community choruses hold music. Our director has a high standard for our group, and we have a lot of talent.”

The Farmington Community Chorus is gearing up for its annual spring show, “Even Stephen” — featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz — and is looking for new members.

The chorus will hold open auditions for new members on three consecutive Tuesday evenings, Jan. 8, 15 and 22, at the Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Singers of all voice parts, ages 18 and older, are welcome to audition and do not need to know how to read music or have any formal training in voice.

“We are looking for both men and women of all voice parts to audition. We always stress that we need men — there’s never enough men,” Addison said. “We let anyone who is interested in auditioning audition.”

How many will be accepted into the group varies each year, according to Lindquist, who said members are always very friendly and welcoming to the newcomers.

“We can get as many as 20 new singers — last time it was 18 — to as few as five or six. It just depends on who’s auditioning,” she said. “Right now, we probably need first sopranos and bases, but that shouldn’t preclude anybody from trying out, if they don’t sing those parts.”

Those who are invited to join the group will continue to meet with the chorus to rehearse for the spring show each Tuesday evening from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the William Costick Activity Center, 11 Mile Road, east of Middlebelt Road, while school is in session.

The spring concert will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at Mercy High School. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $12 and will be available at the door for $15.

For more information about the Farmington Community Chorus, or the auditions, contact Shelly Addison at (248) 250-1447 or visit www.farmingtonchorus.com.