The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

May 9, 2014

Danville Community Singers will salute American composers

RIVERSIDE — The Community Singers not only enjoy making music together but they have a lot of fun too.

“I love being part of it,” said Shirley Wetzel, of Riverside, a member of the group since 1980. She’s also in charge of their music.

She said they have two excellent accompanists — Beverly Reich and Gail Garman — along with a fine director — John Collins III.   

About 45 members of the singers will present their annual spring concert at 7 p.m. May 12 in St. Peter’s United Methodist Church, 240 Sunbury Road. The theme will be “A Salute to American Composers.” The concert is free.

Pat Burlone, also of Riverside, assists Wetzel who serves as group librarian. “It’s wonderful,” Burlone said of the organization she has been a part of for about five years.

Her husband, Nick Burlone, joined about a year after she did.

“I have made such friendships,” Pat Burlone said which includes Wetzel and Terri Chyko, who is originally from New Jersey. “We have a lot of fun. Terri plays everything,” she said.

Singers’ treasurer Sandy Henrie, of Orangeville, has been a member for at least 30 years. “I enjoy the music and I enjoy singing. Music is my outlet,” said Henrie, a Geisinger Medical Center nurse of 40 years.

Sister Maria Theresa, of Danville, joined in 1981. “I love singing,” said the sister who serves as a hospice volunteer.

Nancy Karchner, of Riverside, is serving her third year as president of the singers and has been a member for five years.

She got involved after Garman, her neighbor, asked if she’d like to come to a rehearsal.

The singers present a free spring and a free holiday concert every year.

A collection taken at the concerts goes toward the purchase of music.

A member since about 1979, Garman also serves as president of the Danville Community Band which will present its spring concert at 7 p.m. May 15 in Trinity Lutheran Church, East Market Street, Danville.

The singers range from Jolynn Heckman, of Montandon, in her 30s to members in their 80s.

Heckman is the daughter of Collins who has directed the singers since 2003. He also directs the community band.

Among the younger members is Merry Acor, 40, of Buckhorn, who joined two years ago.

Members come from areas including Northumberland, Columbia County, Milton and Danville.

Carl Reams, a retired doctor from the Danville area, joined in 1970 because “I like to sing.”

A retired physician from Riverside, Bill Gibson has been a member for two years. “I enjoy music. My wife (the late Joyce Gibson) was a member for many years,” he said.

With a patriotic theme for their concert, the singers plan to wear blue or red with their traditional outfits of black and white.

Their selections will include “Another Op’nin, Another Show,” “The Sound of Music,” I Love a Piano,” “Embraceable You,” “Banjo on My Knee,” “George M. Cohan Patriotic Fantasy,” “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Oklahoma,” “Gentle  Annie” and “God Bless America.”

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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