Gospel Singers Hold First Rehearsal

Gospel Singers Hold First Rehearsal
Paula Fitch leads the Gospel Singers in “Do Lord, Remember Me.”

Laughter, soul-stirring melodies and foot-stomping rhythms filled the Community Center's north stage room Thursday evening, May 16, as the Stillwater Gospel Singers' kicked off their first rehearsal for their upcoming Gospel music concert on August 29.

Twenty-seven attendees filed into the room, put on their name tags and collected their music folders while visiting and catching up. Then, they organized themselves into four sections: sopranos on the left, basses next, followed by tenors and the lovely altos.

Director Paula Fitch opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and rehearsing Mary McDonald's rendition of "Do Lord, Remember Me." Kim Strom accompanied on the piano.

Although all the singers were experienced choir members, Paula skillfully and humorously coached them through the nuances of the music. "Do you see this? [Draws a fermata on the board]. This is a fermata. It means you hold that note…until I tell you to stop." The room was filled with singers' smiles and soft laughter.

"Hold that note...until I tell you to stop."

Ms. Fitch led the choir through two other pieces: "Lead Me Home (Precious Lord, Take My Hand)" and "Softly and Tenderly", arranged by Thomas Dorsey. Between singing, we learned about pickups (the measure that leads up to a starting point), staccatos (a dot that tells you to sing a note briefly), and singing the same vowel sound.

For the final piece of the evening's practice, Assistant Director Lisa Reavis led the choir on an a capella version of "Down in the River to Pray." Down each row, nearly everyone's feet were tapping the infectious rhythm.

Anyone interested in singing gospel music is encouraged to attend the next practice or learn more on the stillwatersingers.org website.

The singers include Anita Fike, Trish Hughes, Marita Reichenberger, Ann Hight, Garrett Baker, Bob Brown, Kyle Eastham, Mark Pennie, Larry Zirkle, Judy Brown, Charlotte Johnson, Sue Moore, Linda Shreve, Denise Valli, Rose Wilkinson, Annye Love, Ann Hentges, David Higgs, Delbo Leach, Marcus Mellor, David Shoup, Ron Fike, and Steve Meyer.

Learn more about the choir here:
Summer Rehearsals begin May 16th, 6:45pm