By Megan Kowalski
If you were to walk into the Historic Baldwin Hall in Millersville on any given Wednesday night, you might wonder where the singing was coming from. If you followed your curiosity, it would lead you right to the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus.
A group of about 20 women comprises the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus, a four-part a capella singing group based in the greater Annapolis area. In addition to rehearsing once a week, the group performs at a variety of events and functions—including fairs, festivals, luncheons, assisted living homes and Bowie Baysox games. In the process of learning about music, they also get to learn about themselves, according to public relations coordinator Debbie Toy.
“It’s a wonderful hobby for women,” she said. “You learn leadership, you learn self-esteem, self-confidence, and just so many things that women don’t know they don’t have.”
The Chesapeake Harmony Chorus is currently in the process of wrapping up its holiday singing celebration events, which began on Nov. 7. The group encourages women to come to their weekly rehearsals and join them, free of obligation, in singing carols at various holiday events, including the Grand Illumination in downtown Annapolis.
Wednesday, Dec. 12 is the last time the chorus will be rehearsing before the holidays.
No musical experience is necessary to be a member of the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus, nor is a stellar singing voice.
“You don’t have to be a professional to be in this group,” chorus team coordinator Carol Gass said. “None of us has a beautiful voice, but it’s learning how to blend and how to fit into this group vocally.”
Learning the ins and outs of singing a capella in the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus is made as effortless as possible thanks to the director of the group, Tancey Bosna, who has extensive musical background. She teaches the women singing techniques and provides individual and group voice lessons, free of charge.
While there may be a wide range of ages and personalities in the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus, the camaraderie among the group is something that is relished by all.
“We really enjoy each other,” Severna Park resident and membership coordinator Sally Burton said. “It’s like a sisterhood … we look out for each other, we like to have fun, yet we want to perform really well and impress our other sister choruses.”
Arnold resident and Chesapeake Harmony Chorus charter member Leone Craven agrees, saying that the biggest benefit to being a part of the group is “the friendship - without a doubt.”
“Everybody gets together, they do things for each other, and you really look forward to coming,” she said.
Those interested in the Chesapeake Harmony Chorus are encouraged to attend a rehearsal, which occur every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Baldwin Hall in Millersville. More information can be found at www.chesapeakeharmony.org.
As Debbie Toy said, “If you can walk and chew gum, you can probably carry a tune and we’d love to have you come sing with us.”