By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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“Everyone is singing with heart,” said choral director Leslie Lewis, “expressing well with their words and their faces the meaning of the text.
“But the experience goes beyond the text,” she added. Choral music soars and falls in the singers' voices to create a feeling beyond words.
“I often find myself choked up with emotion at the power of voices raised together in song,” Lewis admitted.
The 76 voices of the Port Townsend Community Chorus will rise in two concerts this weekend: 7 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Franklin St., Port Townsend, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Chimacum High School auditorium, 91 West Valley Road.
Tickets to Friday's and Sunday's concerts are a suggested $15 donation at the door; those who want to purchase in advance can visit Crossroads Music, 2100 Lawrence St., Port Townsend. Tickets for the Chimacum concert are also available for $13.50 via www.ptchorus.org and that site's Brown Paper Tickets link.
The performances share the title “A Night at the Opera, a Day in the Country” and feature songs from “Madame Butterfly,” “La Traviata” and “Aida” in the first half and the music of Aaron Copland, that composer who loved the American countryside, in the second.
“I've had some singers tell me that they never dreamed they would be able to sing songs from these operas,” Lewis said.
“This program was more challenging than some we've done before,” added singer Lynn Nowak, “but I believe that the payoff is often greater when you've had to earn it.”
To bring life to their printed score, the chorus is working with pianists Lisa Lanza and Jan Stone, trumpeter Terry Fogerson and harmonica player Michael Mallon — which is plain fun, Nowak said.
Come a long way
The choir, whose official name is the Community Chorus of Port Townsend and Jefferson County, has come a good distance.
Germaine Arthur, who's sung with the group for 39 years and served on the board for 37, marvels at how it's grown, both in numbers and skill.
“The chorus has been very close to my heart since it began in 1975,” said Arthur, who is stepping down from the board but continuing to sing with the chorus.
“Music,” she added, “joins us all together.”
For general information about the chorus, visit the above website or phone 360-385-1402.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.