Monroeville chorus makes a joyful noise

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Like to sing and live in the east suburbs? Then the Monroeville Community Chorus is looking for you.

The chorus of 20 to 25 members of both genders and all vocal ranges holds rehearsals on the first and third Mondays of each month at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 4503 Old William Penn Highway. Working on its fall schedule now, the chorus often performs at AARP meetings and the like.

"We have people of all ages. If you like to sing and you love music, you can fit in," said Monroeville resident Patti Ferari, the group's business manager who has performed with the chorus for more than 30 years. She came to it because "I enjoy singing and someone asked me to come to a rehearsal."

Never a large group, the chorus dates back to 1953 but has turned over completely since "the last member who was one the original members of the chorus passed away a couple of years ago," Ms. Ferari said.

In the past, the chorus has had as many as 45 members but more recently has suffered from considerable turnover.

"That's why we're always looking for new members," Ms. Ferari said. "And with people having other commitments, it's been difficult some years" to keep old members.

Dianne Runser of Trafford, whom Ms. Ferari describes as a piano and voice teacher, has been leading it for about 25 years.

"Every season our director has a different program for us," Ms. Ferari said. For this fall's program, the repertoire includes songs from Broadway and Hollywood -- selections from "Oklahoma!" "Somewhere Out There" from "An American Tail" and "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" from "South Pacific."

The chorus is already looking forward to the holiday season.

"In November, right before Thanksgiving, we do a concert at the Old Stone Church for Monroeville's tree-lighting ceremony," Ms. Ferari said. "It's a kickoff to Christmas in Monroeville."

Even with its versatility, you won't hear a lot of the classical repertoire.

"We like to sing on the lighter side, not a lot of heavy music," Ms. Ferari said. "We're not the Bach Choir."

The choir will not rehearse this Monday because of a performance that's taking place on Saturday.

For more information, contact Ms. Ferari at 412-372-8295.

Correction, posted Sept. 13, 2013: Patti Ferari's phone number has been corrected.


Rick Nowlin: or 412-263-3871.


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