Bonner resident continues efforts to establish community choir
For Tresa McAlhaney, music has always been a big part of her life.
The Bonner Springs resident grew up singing in church every Sunday as well as in her junior high school choir. In high school, she was a drum major, and now she leads music classes for the homeschool community.
“I play four instruments ... I’m a music person,” she said.
That lifelong love of music has driven McAlhaney to begin putting together a choir with members from the Bonner Springs community.
McAlhaney began her quest by realizing a void. She was looking for a group to sing with that wasn’t associated with a church, and she definitely wanted to keep it local.
When McAlhaney didn’t find what she was looking for, she began her pursuit of creating a group, simply called the Bonner Springs Community Choir, to fill that need. She said she thought it would function in a similar way to the Bonner Springs City Band.
Though it is still in the formation stage, McAlhaney has a big vision for the future of the Bonner choir. While she would love to see up to 20 people join, she would be equally as happy with starting a barbershop quartet. With the holidays just around the corner, she sees the group caroling at downtown Bonner businesses, City Hall, nursing homes and the police station.
Because singing is such a great indoor activity, McAlhaney envisions the choir meeting only during the cold months, keeping the schedule flexible as the group comes together.
“Right now, the choir meets two days per month, the second Sunday at 2 p.m. and the third Thursday at 7 p.m.,” she said. “I am not a professional musician and don’t expect a small town choir to contain many professionals, but I’d be thrilled to draw some in. Anyone who loves to sing has a place in the community choir.”
There was another local choir that formerly existed in the area, the Kaw Valley Community Chorus, which had its last performance in 2011 and officially disbanded in 2013, according to former member Jackie Stark of Bonner Springs. While that group no longer is active, McAlhaney said she would enjoy having some of those former members join the new Bonner choir.
“I feel like the people who were active in the KVCC might be in a different chapter of their lives, but I would love to have some carryover continuity and draw some of those singers in,” she said.
The Bonner choir is geared towards adults but is open to all ages including children ages 8 and up. The next meetings will be 2 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Dec. 17. The group meets in the Honeybee Room at the Bonner Springs Community Center, 200 E. Third St.