Monday, April 2, 2012

Central Florida Community Arts

I went to a Central Florida Community Arts rehearsal at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church (1655 Peel Ave). This was a combined rehearsal with all 200 singers. Sharon Hegedus, the Director of Community Involvement for CFCA had suggested I come to the rehearsal to get a sketch. When I arrived, the parking lot was already crowded with two volunteers helping guide cars to the few remaining open spots behind the church. Listening, I walked towards the sound of people kibitzing in the entry to the church hall. Two tables were set up with name tags the singers. The woman asked my name and I had to explain that I was just there to sketch.

Dianne Sheets stood at the front of the church to welcome everybody. She is a voice coach who works with Christian Singers and has branched out to coach country western singers as well. She has started traveling to LA and NYC to meet up with her clients. She was in charge of warming the singers up. She had everyone stand and face left and everyone massaged the shoulders of the person next to them. Darn, I should have sat closer! Everyone then faced right and returned the favor. Dianne asked for a volunteer with a nice long neck. "I have a long neck" I thought. She grabbed a guy from the second row and told him, "I'm going to put my hands around your throat." Everyone laughed. She demonstrated how to further loosen up the neck and vocal chords.

A children's choir gathered in the back of the church then assembled at the front of the church. After their song, someone shouted, "Aren't they adorable!" There was a standing ovation. Joshua Vickery took over, directing the rest of the rehearsal with a chipper Disney attitude. Half way through, he said, "I'm going to get I'm trouble for saying this, but, this is the best choir in town!" Much of the rehearsal centered around the song, "You can't Stop the Beat!" At one point everyone laughed when the harmony was lost and they scattered, loosing the beat. The rallied on the next pass. Sections of the choir would stand and sing just their part before all the voices were combined in harmony. The chorus was on fire as they sang "This is the Moment."

The chorus has a performance coming up on May 10th and 11th titled "The HeART of Theater, an Evening on Broadway." Performances are at 7:30pm at the Northland Church (530 Dog Track Road, Longwood). Tickets are $10.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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