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    St. John’s Lutheran Church Men’s Chorus concert marks 30 years of music making

    By Staff Report,

    27 days ago

    By Susan Shinn Turner

    For the Salisbury Post

    “Singers Arise!” celebrating the 30th anniversary of the St. John’s Men’s Chorus in concert, is set for 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28, in the Sanctuary of St. John’s Lutheran Church, 200 W. Innes St., in Downtown Salisbury.

    The afternoon will be a true jubilee, with a brass quintet, string ensemble, percussion, piano and saxophone, along with guest soloist Ricky Howsare.

    A reception in Ritchie Hall follows the free concert.

    The chorus traces its roots way back to 1994, when Pastor Carl Sachtleben thought it would be a terrific idea to have a church-wide talent show.

    Karl Kinard, now director of music emeritus, asked his wife, Rosemary, to direct a barbershop-style group so he could sing.

    Of course, she said yes.

    “The audience seemed to like it, and the guys loved it, “ she said.

    The next year, they did the same thing, “And it took off from there. Other guys from other churches asked if they could be in the group. It became something a lot of guys wanted to be a part of.”

    The choir’s first concert was in the spring of 1996. Around 2006, when Rosemary Kinard retired as director of choral music at Catawba College, the Men’s Chorus added a Christmas concert.

    The group experienced its heyday in the early 2000s.

    “It was an awesome, big group, “ she recalled. “ I’m so glad it’s still going. I would not want to be in this world where there’s no Men’s Chorus. It blesses my heart.”

    After she retired as director in 2017, Jason Harwood took over the baton until the COVID pandemic struck.

    “I can honestly say it was much scarier and more intimidating in my mind than it was in reality, “ Harwood said. “ The transition felt seamless because the chorus was so well established and, more importantly, the singers were fully committed to the continued success of the group . “

    Director Rob Durocher indicated that by the time COVID seemed to be under control, several of the Men’s Chorus members wanted to sing again.

    “I just stepped up and somewhat reluctantly decided to give it a go, “ Durocher said. “I recognized that this was and is a vital ministry to our church community because it brings community together for a great purpose. And it was exciting to me to play a small part in all of this. But make no mistake, Rosemary and Jason were marvelous directors, and each brought a sense of professionalism, fun and challenge to our Men’s Chorus , and both are still very much missed and celebrated for their work.”

    Fortuitously, Kinard and Harwood will be directing pieces for the spring concert.

    “I enjoy getting to see my boys, “ Kinard said.

    Men’s Chorus members have always called her Mom.

    All three directors praised accompanist Janie Rollins, who has been with the group since its inception.

    “Janie is so much more than an accompanist, “ Harwood noted. “In rehearsals, she knows exactly what, when, and where to play to support the singers and their director.”

    Soon after he and his wife Bonnie joined St. John’s, David Hord joined the Men’s Chorus in 2014.

    “Group singing in either the Chancel Choir or Men’s Chorus is good for the mind, body, and soul, “ Hord said. “I believe humans are meant to be pack animals, and I enjoy being part of a pack. In our men’s group , we have ample opportunity for laughter, joking, and teasing. Our average age is pretty high, but our maturity level is much lower.

    “We invite men of all ages to join us in giving glory to God.”

    Durocher added, “ Very special thanks goes to Charles Dabbs for his many generous gifts to the Men’s Chorus, which has sustained them and our instrumentalists these past seven years. We’re all grateful for his generosity and support.”

    The post St. John’s Lutheran Church Men’s Chorus concert marks 30 years of music making appeared first on Salisbury Post .

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