Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘First Presbyterian Church’

The Cambridge Singers Have a Song in Their Heart

Cambridge Singers 2017

The present Cambridge Singers often dress eloquently for their performances.

Music makes the world a happier place. If you enjoy singing around the house or while driving your car, perhaps you’d like to join The Cambridge Singers, either singing as a member or listening in the audience.

Kathy Turner, Cambridge Singers director

Kathy Antill, the director, brings experience and new energy to the group.

   The unique sound created by The Cambridge Singers sets them apart from traditional groups. This wonderful group of singers is the oldest continually operating six-part harmony chorus in the state. Recently Kathryn Antill took over the helm of directing this elite group.  Tom Apel accompanies them on the piano.

Singers Fred Waring Award 001 (2)

This 1955 Waring Award was the beginning of “The Cambridge Singers”.

   It all began with a group called “Musigals”, a group of married women who loved to sing. Then in 1965, they decided to add some men to the chorus for a special show. It was suggested that they enter the Fred Waring Sacred Heart Program Choral Competition by sending in a tape for critique.

Singers Fred Waring Trophy 001 (2)

The Fred Waring trophy still brings a feeling of pride and accomplishment.

   They won first prize and a beautiful trophy in the mixed ensemble category over a field of entries from all over the United States and Canada. Their award-winning rendition of “O Sacred Heart” was heard on 875 television and radio stations.

   With that kind of success, they drew up a charter for the group, and officially became “The Cambridge Singers” in November, 1965 under the direction of Donna Shafer Blackwood. Their first concert under that name occurred at Easter of 1966 in The First Presbyterian Church.

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Sometimes the chorus harmonizes outside Salt Fork Lodge

   This chorus has sung every kind of music and entertained audiences around the state. Their performances have included: AmeriFlora, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Miss Clayland Pageant, and Barnesville Pumpkin Show.

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The chorus had a happy time at Carnegie Hall.

  In 1991, The Cambridge Singers performed at Carnegie Hall during their 100th-anniversary celebration accompanied by the Manhattan Philharmonic. This talented group is proud to have been invited back, and hope to make a repeat trip in the near future.

   In the lifetime of the chorus, there have been over 130 community members who have participated with eight different directors and three accompanists. They practice each Tuesday at First Presbyterian Church. 

Marge Stover

Marge Stover, back center, has been with the group from its beginning.

   One member, Marge Stover, happens to be the only charter member of the group still performing. She shares with her family a great musical background and was pleased when asked to join the group. Marge not only has a beautiful voice but has helped with every aspect of the singers at one time or another from costumes to set design.

Singers Mayor's Award 001 (2)

The late Mayor Sam Salupo presents former Director Jim Whitehair with the Mayor’s Award about ten years ago.

   Costumes are of great importance and they are pleased that the Kiwanis Foundation and Rotary Club have given them grants, which they used for costumes. The Rotary Club has also given a grant for music in honor of the late Dr. Quentin Knauer, who sang in the chorus for fifty years. The chorus sincerely appreciates all the support they receive from the community.

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The Cambridge Singers added some choreography to this patriotic tune.

   Each year, The Cambridge Singers have a spring show and one at Christmas, both of them being at the Scottish Rite Auditorium in downtown Cambridge. The chorus has performed at nearly every Salt Fork Festival and their Christmas appearance at the Guernsey County Senior Center plays to a standing room only crowd.

The Cambridge Singers

The Cambridge Singers performed at the 48th Salt Fork Festival.

   While memorable performances are their main goal, members feel the group is an extended family, who gives them support during troubled times. When attending the Tuesday rehearsals, all troubles disappear for two hours as they harmonize in song. Music heals the mind, body and soul.

Singers Children 001 (2)

Children of chorus members take part in the annual Christmas program.

   This group has a special interest in encouraging young people to become involved in the world of music. Each year they present several scholarships to area youth. The prestigious Rigel Award is given in memory of Everett “Red” and Mary Ann Rigel, both long-time members of Cambridge Singers. This honors a community member who promotes and advocates music, music education and the importance of the arts in all walks of life.

   If you have an interest in joining The Cambridge Singers or have other questions about the group, contact any member or call Janet Teichman at 740-638-2220 or Gayle Roberts at 740-680-1723. They will welcome you with open arms and a song in their heart.

   The Cambridge Singers’ wish is to promote music and the musical quality of life in our community. Most of all, they love music.

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Farmer’s Daughter to Queen Victoria

 

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During childhood, her cousin, Cheryl, and Connie enjoyed dressing as cowgirls.

Growing up on the farm as a shy young lady, Connie Oliver Humphrey never expected to travel the world, but she always enjoyed role playing. Even as a child, Connie liked to don costumes and pretend to be someone else. One of those earliest ones happened to be Dale Evans. At home she would dress in her cowgirl hat and boots as she became Queen of the West.

The first time this shy young lady ever performed on stage happened at Cambridge High School during the senior class play, with just a small part. Most of her high school years were spent in the bookmobile reading all the books in the history section.

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Always interested in costumes, this Victorian lady helped with the Dickens Victorian Village’s Victorian Tea & Fashion Show.

So when Connie went to Marietta College, it seemed natural to major in history. However, lack of encouragement from the history teacher and a notice of her theatrical abilities from another, had her changing gears. Theater became her major and creating costumes her passion.

Still, when she graduated, Connie wasn’t sure what she wanted to do or where she wanted to live. Before making a final decision, Connie became a stewardess for Piedmont Airlines. Then she met the man who would change her world. Michael worked for the United States Department of Agriculture, which eventually led them on many great adventures.

Before long, Connie didn’t have to worry about where she would live as Michael became an Agricultural attache in the American Embassy in places such as Moscow, Hong Kong, and Jakarta, then moved on to Singapore. Connie was off to see the world.

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In the musical, Quilters, Connie’s pioneer portrayal included playing the spoons.

On this amazing adventure, she never knew what was going to happen next. In each country, she joined the local theater group, where she helped with costumes and became an actress.

When on stage, her shyness disappeared as she became a different person. In her words, “I put Connie on a hook in the dressing room.” Only once did Connie and Michael appear on the same stage in a spoof on Robin Hood and His Merry Men. It required Connie to sing off-key, which she said wasn’t difficult for her.

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In the one-woman play, Belle of Amherst, Connie portrayed Emily Dickinson.

In Jakarta, one of her favorite performances took place in the role of Emily Dickinson. Connie performed a one-woman show on stage there in the play, Belle of Amherst. She learned the poetry from the heart and talked to the audience as though she were carrying on a conversation with them.

Emily spent her life as a recluse, writing poetry and stashing it away because one suitor told her she was not a poet. Still she wrote as if she experienced the joys and sorrows of the human race.

connies-quilt

This quilt made from pieces of her Quilters costume still graces her guest bedroom. The green/white check was from her costume and the beige batik is typically Indonesian.

During their travels, they shared many wonderful experiences with family and new friends. One of those happened at a Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, where they attended a traditional Easter service. Only children and grandparents were permitted to participate, with the militia there to guard again other adult participation. As part of the American Embassy, they were permitted to view the impressive service.

Her favorite place, Hong Kong, overflowed with life and color. Every nationality walked their streets. which held plentiful food and supplies. Something exciting happened frequently wherever they lived. From an elephant ride in Indonesia to the dynamic Fourth of July fireworks in Washington D.C., new experiences created lifetime memories.

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Her role as Queen Victoria adds dignity to Dickens Victorian Village.

Upon her return to Guernsey County, Connie became involved with Dickens Victorian Village working on their Creative Team creating costumes for the mannequins.Then last year, with a bit of encouragement, she stepped into the role of Queen Victoria, queen during the time of Charles Dickens.

“How does someone get to be Queen?”

“You must select your parents with great care.”

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Schoolchildren greeted Queen Victoria with cheers and flags of England.

Her visits to the elementary schools have been well received and she often greets visitors at opportune moments throughout the season. Connie enjoys getting dressed for her role as Queen Victoria, where she holds children under her spell as she tells of life as Queen.In December, there will also be a program, Dickens Audience with the Queen, where she shares the stage with historian, Chris Hart.

In her spare time, Connie’s role as farmer’s wife continues and she works tirelessly for the First Presbyterian Church in Cambridge. Her husband, children and grandchildren always come first, and give her a glow of happiness for all to see.

Connie values the freedom we have in our country after viewing life in some of the places they served. In fact in the near future, they plan an RV trip across the United States, a place they have not yet explored. They have people and places to see on their journey.

But first she must reign as Queen Victoria in Dickens Victorian Village.

 

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