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From Barbershop to Broadway: Community Choir Showcases Musical Favorites

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By Courtney Bergman  | The Morgan County News

The air around Morgan High School’s auditorium was filled with the familiar tunes of Broadway as the Morgan Community Choir presented their annual spring concert Monday evening. The choir shared Broadway favorites that stretched over the decades, beginning at the turn of the century and including newer favorites such as selections from The Phantom of the Opera.

Led by conductor Lois Manning and co-conductor Marilyn Lofgreen, the choir delighted their audience with familiar medleys from South Pacific, The Sound of Music, and My Fair Lady, with additional selections from Westside Story and other well-known Broadway musical productions. The highlight of the evening was a barbershop “quartet” performed by the men of the choir, introduced and led by Garth Palmer. Complete with red, white, and blue-striped derby hats, the familiar harmonic blending of My Wild Irish Rose was a crowd favorite and demonstrated the diverse talents of the tenor and bass sections. 

The passion and love for their craft was apparent in every song they performed. From the whimsical rendition of “My Favorite Things” to the heart-warming and haunting chords of “Somewhere,” the choir presented a program filled with many toe-tapping moments that left the audience craving more. 

Perhaps as mesmerizing as the music was the accompaniment provided by Aimee Ferrin. Her piano skills enhanced the choir’s performance with perfection and was as entertaining to listen to as the vocal presentations. Another highlight was the duet accompaniment when Lois Manning joined Ferrin at the piano for selections from The Sound of Music. Their fingers flying across the keyboard synchronously was a delight to watch and was a perfect addition to the overall selection.

As the choir concert concluded, the choir bade a sad, yet grateful and poignant farewell to their conductor. This concert marked Lois Manning’s twentieth year as conductor of the Morgan Community Choir and also served as her final performance as she announced her retirement at its conclusion. The choir and audience expressed their appreciation to her through a standing ovation and many words of gratitude for her service and dedication in organizing and continuing to build and maintain this program that so many enjoy.

After providing a wonderful night of entertainment, the choir also furnished refreshments for their audience, rounding up a wonderful evening that appealed to all ages. The choir will now take a well-deserved break over the summer and resume rehearsals in the fall in preparation for their Christmas concert in December. 

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