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December 04, 2016
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Let it be Christmas

The Wesley Bell Ringers are just one of a handful of bell choirs from Wayne County churches that will play during services this month.
Photo by Sue Graziadio

The Wayne Choralaires

Last Sunday, The Wayne Choralaires kicked off its annual series of holiday concerts with two performances at CUMC in Honesdale. Tonight, Thursday, December 5, the approximately 60-member community chorus will travel over Moosic Mountain to Carbondale for a 7 p.m. concert at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. And this coming Sunday, December 8 there will be an afternoon concert at Hawley’s Blessed Virgin Mary Queen of Peace Church at 2:30 p.m. Admission to all concerts is by free-will donation and helps pay for the purchase of sheet music.

The chorus has been rehearsing since just after Labor Day to prepare for these concerts, an annual holiday tradition that begins early in Advent. “So many people tell us, ‘You start off the season for us,’” choral director Patricia Spoor reported. “‘It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it.’”

This year’s theme is “A Christmas Tapestry,” and includes both sacred and secular music.

Members in the Choralaires range from 14 years old to 85, and some travel a fair distance to attend rehearsals, from the far north and far south in Wayne County, as well as from Hemlock Farms in Pike County and from Carbondale in Lackawanna County.

The Choralaires have been around for more than 40 years, having been started in the late 1960s at the instigation of Art Fasshauer to sing in Honesdale’s summertime concert series of musical events in Central Park, where the chorus still performs every year.

Anyone who thinks he/she can carry a tune is welcome to join, according to Spoor. The only auditions are for solos.

Spoor expresses real pride in the singers and personal joy in being able to direct them. “This is something I always wanted to do… I love to plan the programs, I love teaching music, I love people and the singers are wonderful.”

She also spoke of the rewards of singing in a group like this. “New friendships are made,” she said. “There’s great satisfaction in learning the music, plus there’s the euphoria of performing together and seeing the joy on the faces of the people who come to hear us.”

Sunday’s concert offered a taste of the joy that the Choralaires will be spreading this season.