What is attracting singers to the NoVA Lights Chorale and its Messiah rehearsals that start Sept. 17? Some will join the Northern Virginia-based chorus for the first time to sing Handel’s epic Christmas oratorio. Others who are returning from the choir’s first full season last year will be fulfilling a lifetime love of music and singing.
“My father is a musician and I played the violin growing up,” says Lyric Clark, who sings with the chorus occasionally. “I took singing lessons several years ago. Joining the chorus provided me with the opportunity to perform with a group of people who were welcoming to new singers.”
For Mike Doan, singing is a pursuit he just discovered four years ago after seeing his daughter perform in H.B. Woodlawn’s choir in Arlington. “My father was a tenor in the San Francisco Opera, but I had no interest in singing until recently,” he says. “Then I found out from a voice teacher that I, too, am a tenor.”
Robert Haydon is pursuing an activity he shared with his wife (now passed) for 50 years. They sang in church choruses in Germany and later sang in a chorus in Fredericksburg that performed Messiah. Haydon connected with NoVA Lights Chorale and its director, Barbara Stefan, when she briefly directed the Arlingtones barbershop chorus, in which he sings.
Says Jerry Vroegh: “Prior to joining NoVA Lights, I hadn't sung in an organized group for over 25 years. I look forward to our rehearsals--what better way to spend a Monday night?
Sharon Core says she participates in NoVA Lights Chorale “because I love to sing but don’t have an “audition” voice. Singing is one way I celebrate and enjoy life.” She loves singing Messiah.
The deluge of singing shows on television in recent years apparently hasn't hurt. According to Chorus America, 33 million adults and 10 million children participate in choruses nationally.
No auditions are required to sing in the Handel oratorio, which will be performed at 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Arlington Presbyterian Church, 3507 Columbia Pike, one block west of Glebe Road. Rehearsals begin on Monday, Sept. 17 at the church and continue each Monday night from 7 to 9 p.m.
Along with soloists and an orchestra, the chorus will sing Messiah Part 1, plus the Hallelujah Chorus and the Amen Chorus. There is no charge to join and no admission fee for the concert. “We like to make our chorus accessible to the community,” Stefan says.
Metrobus Route 16 and Art Bus 41 stop at the door. There is parking the church lot. To sign up, visit the website, www.novalightschorale.jigsy.com or email email@example.com.