|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Multigenerational choir hosting concert Nov. 29 at PHS

  • Women from the community will join in making music with Pittsburg High School students for the fourth year of the PHS multigenerational choir.



    The choir, along with a new men’s multigenerational choir, will be featured in a free public PHS choral concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 in the PHS auditorium.

    • email print
  • Women from the community will join in making music with Pittsburg High School students for the fourth year of the PHS multigenerational choir.
    The choir, along with a new men’s multigenerational choir, will be featured in a free public PHS choral concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 in the PHS auditorium.
    “Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and we really do encourage people to come early to be sure they get good seats,” said Susan Laushman, PHS vocal music teacher. “We expect the house will be packed for this concert. We’re going to have everything from pop to jazz to contemporary selections, along with an original composition by Joy Leeper, a member of our multigenerational choir.”
    This is the fourth year that Laushman has invited women from the community to sing with her female choral students.
    “We’ve got 35 high school students and approximately 35 community in the choir,” Laushman said. “They’ve been practicing two mornings a week.”
    The students have to be at PHS, of course, but many of the women have other commitments and have to make time to come out. They said that they enjoy the experience.
    “Singing is not really my forte,” said Cheryl Mayo. “I keep coming because I love interacting with the students.”
    Vonnie Gallegos moved to Pittsburg three years ago, and just hadn’t quite come to regard it as home. Singing with the choir has changed that.
    “I feel part of the community for the first time,” she said.
    Joy Leeper has been singing and composing for years, and her song “Evening Birds” will be on the program.
    “It’s about a couple whose marriage is falling apart, and I felt this song lent itself to this setting,” she said. “I wrote it several years ago and have performed it as a solo. This is the first time it’s being sung by a group.”
    Marilyn Weeks, community member, said she enjoys the song very much.
    “What I like about Joy’s song is that every part of it is beautiful,” she said.”Some songs have parts that are beautiful, but not always every part.”
    Kathy Cattaneo comes from a family background of music.
    “I grew up with my dad singing, so I’m carrying on a family tradition,” she said. “My father, Wishie Jones, was famous for singing ‘Danny Boy’.”
    The PHS girls said they look forward to meeting and singing with the older women.
    “It gives us a change to learn about people beyond our peer group and learn about their lives, with people you might not otherwise know,” said Violet Biggs, PHS freshman.
    Mickie Arndt, sophomore, said she believes that singing with the women has a beneficial effect on her peers.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I think it helps bring them out of their shells, and they’re more active in class,” she said.
    Barbara Lopez, senior, said she just moved to Pittsburg from Olathe two months ago.
    “I had never heard of a multigenerational choir before, and I think it’s a really great idea,” she said. “I think more schools should do it.”
    Carolyn Robison, who taught 34 years at PHS, was well aware of the group.
    “I just retired a few years ago and this was one of the things I wanted to do,” she said. “I expected that the songs Susan would select for us would be not too difficult, but these are difficult.”
    However, she added that it has worked out well.
    “Susan has a way of getting out of you slightly more than you thought you had in you,” Robison said.
    One very special person has been impressed by Laushman’s work with the choir.
    “This is the first opportunity I’ve had to see my daughter teach, and I’m very proud of her,” said Tootie Hodges.
    Laushman said that it’s a win-win situation when people from the community and the students team up.
    “Everybody is sad when this is over,” the teacher said.
    That’s because everybody has such a good time in class, noted Rachel Martin, PHS junior.
    “Everybody leaves here happy,” she said.
      • calendar