Archive for Thursday, July 6, 2006

Teacher hopes to revive defunct chorus

July 6, 2006

If Kimberly Demings has her way, the Kaw Valley Community chorus will rise from the dead next week.

Three years after the chorus dissolved for lack of participation, the Basehor-Linwood music teacher is trying to resurrect interest in the defunct singing group. A meeting to gauge interest in the project will be held July 11 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Basehor, at 2805 155th St.

Demings teaches all grades in the Basehor-Linwood public schools and will serve as the chorus' director if it lives again. She said everyone who can come to regular, weekly rehearsals is welcome, no matter what town they live in or what their faith -- or whether they have one. The songs will include both religious and secular selections, she said.

"I think the coolest thing about it is, anybody and everybody can come. We're going to do a wide variety of music, so everybody can do what they like."

Demings said she had between seven and 10 people who said they were "definitely" going to do it, and three "maybes." To get the chorus going again, she would like "as many as we can get."

But at a minimum, Demings said, the chorus needed at least 20 people, "because you need that many to have a good amount of sound and a good balance."

Demings admits "restarting is difficult," and said the chorus disbanded before "because people just got so busy -- attendance started to drop and they couldn't get enough people to come to rehearsals."

Demings, whose mother was in the choir's last incarnation but wasn't herself, said she hopes to make the choir last this time, but so far hasn't evolved a strategy. She's posted flyers in about 50 churches in the area and anyone who can drive to the rehearsals and performances is welcome, she said. The only requirement for membership is that singers be a minimum of 14 years old or be in ninth grade, she said.

Membership in the choir will require a commitment to attending weekly rehearsals at Basehor-Linwood High School, probably starting in August, Demings said, with the first performance in December. She said she would also ask members for some money, about $20, she figured, to rent concert locations and to print programs.

Cindy Abels sang in the chorus for two years before it disbanded.

Abels, an alto, said she was happy Demings was trying to revive the tradition.

"We didn't want it to go away," Abels said.

Abels said her favorites to perform were gospel, some contemporary and classical -- "a mix, that's what she's hoping to do."

Whether the chorus does, in fact, re-form, and what the weekly rehearsal days and times will be, will be decided at the July 11 meeting. For information about the chorus, contact Demings at, or (913) 302-3982.

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