At long last, Steamboat Chamber Singers return
The Steamboat Chamber Singers have been waiting since March of 2020 to perform their traditional St. Patrick’s Day concert and now, finally, they are doing it.
Choir director Christel Houston recalls a time, over two years ago, when the choir was rehearsing for the concert, had learned all of the songs by heart, did a dress rehearsal…and then, had to cancel at the last minute due to COVID.
Now, that concert will finally come to fruition. Featuring a similar program with some new material, the choir will finally perform again on two nights – Saturday, May 21, and Sunday, May 22, at 7:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Rehearsing again since January, the program revolves around songs focused on Ireland as well as Irish stories and blessings. Instrumental numbers will be performed as well as special numbers with smaller groups of male and female only singers.
“It’s just going to be a really fun time of celebration and a big happy exhale,” said Houston.
Houston, who has directed choirs in Steamboat since the mid-90s, said the group’s 20 members actually learned the Irish language for the concert.
“One thing that makes this concert unique is that some of the pieces are in the Gaelic language, which isn’t easy,” she said. “I think that adds an air of authenticity to it.”
While much of the concert is in English, choir member Hayley Berg spent several months learning the Gaelic – written out phonetically – and memorizing the songs. But, she said, challenges like this are what drew her to the group in the first place.
What: Steamboat Chamber Singers present “Dear Old Ireland”
When: 7 p.m., Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22
Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 846 Oak St.
Tickets: $20 at the door or purchased from a choir member
“I’ve been singing my whole life,” said Berg. “I’ve always been in a choir, from elementary school to graduate school. When I moved to Steamboat, I wanted to get involved in a choir, so I auditioned for the Steamboat Chamber Singers. I love the high standards, energy and professionalism of the group.”
Typically, the choir performs a concert three times a year: at Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day and a spring concert in May. And while this St. Patrick’s Day concert will fill in for the spring concert this year, choir members all agree on one thing: it’s nice to be able to sing again.
“It feels like a relief,” said Berg.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for the Steamboat Pilot & Today. She can be reached through the editor.
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