Grand Lake: Harmonizing for the holidays
December 7, 2007
The Grand Chorale, the county’s premier men’s chorale group, presents its annual Grand Lake Christmas Concert in the Historical Community House on Saturday.
This is the 15th year for the free concert, which features chorale quartets, as well as a surprise quartet singing songs of the holiday season, barbershop harmonies and sentimental favorites. This show will feature about 23 songs, some religious, others all-time favorites, as well as a couple new songs making their debut at the Christmas program.
Band members include Marv Aiken, Ed Bittle, Marion Bricker, Jim Clair, Al Clark, Jim Feucht, and Tom Giblin. Tenor members are Tom Newton, Jim Griffiths, and Barton Phillips. Baritones lending their voices to the group are Don Hunt, Dave Kafer, Kim Long, and Roger Shaw. Leads include Harry Canon, Don Campbell, David Maddox, Rich Miller, Win Watkins and Bob Westlake. Jeff Shaw is the director and Jim Morris is the assistant director who puts together all the Christmas programs.
“I’m blessed to have such a talented director,” Jeff Shaw said of Morris. “It’s been fun over the years to sing this a cappella-style of music. I appreciate the guys hanging in there and staying with this kind of music because it’s a vanishing breed of music. It’s a lot of fun to direct these guys.”
Shaw also wanted to thank all the people in Grand County for coming out to hear the chorale. Without them, he said, “there wouldn’t be much singing to do.”
The Grand Chorale, which has been together for about 20 years and is partly sponsored by Rocky Mountain National Park, is an official chapter of the Rocky Mountain District of the Barbershop Harmony Society. The group is a designated non-profit organization “dedicated to the promotion of vocal harmony and good fellowship. Through practice and musical education of our members we seek excellence in singing and we encourage and promote appreciation of men’s chorale music through our public performances and charitable projects.”
“It’s a good group,” said Newton, president of the chorale since 1990. “We love it. We do it for our own enjoyment, really. It’s a fun group to be with.”
The Grand Chorale will hold several other performances throughout the holiday season, including singing for the seniors at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Granby Senior Center; participating in the Annual Cantata at 6:30 p.m. at Saint Anne’s Church Saturday, Dec. 15; a free Christmas concert in Fraser, at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 in the Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies chapel; a performance for the Rotary Club Christmas Dinner at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18 at the Bears Den; and many of the members will participate in the 10th Annual Mountain Messiah Thursday, Dec. 27 at Snow Mountain Ranch.
The Grand Chorale is always looking for new members. The group meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 390 Garnet Ave. in Granby. For information on joining the group, call Tom Newton at (970) 726-8878 or visit http://www.grandchorale.org.