The sound of Christmas in Grand County
December 5, 2008
It doesn’t feel like Christmas until it sounds like Christmas. Fortunately, there are voices waiting to be heard around Grand County, offering traditional music for the holidays.
With several men’s chorale groups being a major highlight, the Grand Chorale’s 20th annual Christmas Show is one of the largest chorale celebrations in the area. The local chorus presents two concerts with other area groups: Fortune, PHIL, and Four on the Floor. Together their harmonies will deliver sweet and sentimental Christmas carols and seasonal songs to audiences in the area.
The Grand Chorale is made up of around 20 men and is an official chapter of the Barbershop Harmonic Society. Bass members of the Grand Chorale are Marv Aiken, Ed Bittle, Marion Bricker, Jim Clair, Al Clark, Jim Feucht and Tom Giblin. Baritones are Don Hunt, Dave Kafer, Win Watkins and Roger Shaw. Tenors are Jim Griffiths and Tom Newton. Leads are Harry Canon, Don Campbell, Bob Westlake, David Maddox, Rich Miller and Barton Phillips. Dr. Jeff Shaw and Jim Morris are director and assistant director, respectively.
The Grand Chorale 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.”
Singing primarily in the barbershop style of four-part harmony, the group is also known to blend in ballads, spiritual, swing and show tunes. Songs set for the show include Jingle Bells, Caroling, Caroling; Shalom Chaverim, Silent Night, Deck the Halls, White Christmas, Chestnuts, Throw the Yule Log on Uncle John, Winter Wonderland, and We Wish You a Merry with the audience.
Fortune, PHIL and Four on the Floor return to perform throughout the program ” a tradition since the Grand Chorale’s formation. Fortune comes together with lead Jeff Shaw, tenor Steve Mulligan, bass Marv Aiken and baritone Bill Teal. PHIL is made up of lead Jim Morris, tenor Jim Griffiths, bass Ed Bittle and baritone Roger Shaw. The Four on the Four are lead Harry Canon, tenor Tom Newton, bass Marion Bricker and baritone Don Hunt.
The Grand Chorale also has free public performances scheduled for senior citizens at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Granby Town Hall, and at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 13 for a Cantata and Music Festival at St. Anne’s Church in Grand Lake. It is always looking for new members. The group meets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 390 Garnet Ave., in Granby..