Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
November 7, 2019
By Pat Edwards
What a wonderful event we had last Sunday at the Applegate Regional Theater. The Groundwaters LIVE! program was well-attended and much enjoyed, according to the feedback I have been receiving this week. Thanks to all of you who joined us as well as those who entertained our audience by reading their wonderful stories and poetry. In addition, we have received many compliments on the 2019 Groundwaters anthology that we launched at the event. Our hearts are smiling!
I stepped out of my comfort zone this last week. I’ve always loved music and whenever possible, I sing along with it… Jim and I are seasoned “car radio singers.” We know every word to the old country-western songs which Jim has always loved and the 80s and 90s country songs that our daughter played on the radio while at KUGN-FM. We frequently listen to them today as we make our way through town or on vacations.
As a teenager, I loved and appreciated classical and semi-classical music, too. One of my favorite classes in college at Linfield was my Music and Art Appreciation class, and I used to enjoy putting one of my semi-classical records on the record player while doing housework as a young housewife. I had several albums of them along with my beloved Ricky Nelson and Elvis records that kept me on task and made the drudgery of housework seem to fly by.
I can remember, about the time I was in junior high, singing “O Holy Night” over, and over, and over again for my mother, who accompanied me on the piano, while she recorded it into a tape recorder before one Christmas. I loved that song and never tired of singing it, but I never knew what happened to that tape or what she did with it after it was recorded. I think it was lost in one of our many moves. To this day, I love Christmas carols—the old ones especially—as they are so familiar to me.
As much as I loved to sing, however, I was only part of a choir for a short time. I participated in a 9th grade a cappella choir in Eureka, California for a partial year before our family moved to Portland where I finished out the year at Parkrose. I enjoyed being in that choir very much. As a very shy, newbie, freshman girl in Portland, I tried out for the school choir and nervously sang an audition with 2 other girls. I was told I had perfect pitch and was welcomed to the choir, but when we adjourned, the choir director sent us all home with sheet music to study before the choir met again. I did not have any background in reading music except for elementary piano lessons. I panicked and did not show up for the next practice… I quit the choir because I felt I was way out of my comfort zone. I’ve always regretted “chickening out” and have since, I hope, become much more responsible. We moved to Eugene shortly afterwards and I never tried out again for any type of choir.
So, it was with an admitted bit of trepidation that I agreed to join my two neighbors in attending the organizational meeting of the new Community Choir that is forming at the Applegate Regional Theater. My voice is not as strong as it once was and I can’t reach the higher notes as I used to. It also frustrates me that my voice breaks and wobbles a bit more than it did. Of course, I am 77 years of age, so I guess that’s to be expected.
Last Tuesday night, those of us who showed up for the first rehearsal were handed sheet music and were asked to sing “Carol of the Bells” as a group to show the director what we sounded like so we could be assigned our parts. Thankfully, there were no auditions, but I was suddenly back in the 9th grade, trying to figure out how to sing the alto parts that did not follow the melody in any way and were completely foreign to me because I was not able to read the music. I ended up stumbling through the rehearsal, thinking over and over again, “I can’t do this!”
Towards the end of the evening, I began to catch on a bit by listening to my neighbor, standing next to me, and allowing myself—for now—to sing the melody until I could gain a little more confidence and better understanding.
I’m not going to give up this time as I did almost 65 years ago… I’m going to give it my best shot.
For those interested in the choir, rehearsals are going to be every Tuesday evening beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Applegate Regional Theater, 87230 Central Rd., Eugene, OR, north of Crow. Call Vicki Sourdry for more info: 541-935-3636.