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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.