Come and listen to the chorus!

May 13, 2018

What's a retiree to do if they want to sing somewhere besides their own shower? They join the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus!

"I've been in the chorus from the beginning," writes Sheila Maden. "Friends encouraged me to go to with them to an informal sing-along in June 2009, at the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center. Twenty-eight people showed up that night and the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus was a go."

Sheila credits writer/producer Fay Jacobs, who envisioned a chorus which would have room for all. Jacobs recruited two seasoned veterans – conductor and soloist Bill McManus, and virtuoso accompanist David Zipse to help lead the chorus. Zipse is still with the group along with 12 original members.

With the chorus now in its ninth season, Doug Yetter is happier than ever to lead a talented group of 90 singers, mostly retirees. "It's always pleased me that the makeup of the group truly represents the community at large. They're gay, they're straight, they're couples of all possible combinations, and they've made new friends and bonded in truly surprising ways," he said.

CAMP Rehoboth is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community service organization dedicated to creating a more positive environment in Rehoboth Beach and its related communities.

Its mission is to "promote cooperation and understanding among all people, as we work to build a safer and more inclusive community with room for all."

Barbara Passikoff said, "As one of the senior (by age) members of the chorus, I can easily say that the experience of singing with this talented, committed group gives back its excitement and energy to me every single performance!"

The chorus isn't an auditioned group, but Doug does listen to new members' voices so he can ensure they're in the correct section. There's an application form on the CAMP website under the Chorus tab if you are interested in joining the fun.

The chorus also has an outreach ensemble of 24 auditioned singers who perform throughout the year for senior centers, clubs and fundraisers.

Participants rehearse every Monday evening from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at CAMP on 37 Baltimore Ave. in Rehoboth from October through the spring concert, with a break for the holidays.

"As a retired music teacher, I'm glad to keep active in my profession," said Neil Frock. "I fill in for Doug as the assistant director when he can't make a rehearsal or outreach performance, so that keeps me mentally active which is important when you're retired. Chorus rehearsals are educational and inspire creativity, and it feels good to be part of a group that contributes to CAMP Rehoboth."

Last February's weekend concerts were heard by over 1,200 fans!

I was fortunate to attend the Sussex Academy location performance of Can't Stop the Beat along with 400 other concert goers. My toes never stopped tapping!

Sheila Maden muses, "We draw such energy from our audiences and are very grateful for their support. For me, what hasn't changed is the joy and thrill of working hard through months of rehearsals and having everything come together when we take the stage on opening night. I love when people I don't know recognize me from the chorus and tell me how much they enjoyed one of our concerts."

The 2019 concert will mark their 10-year anniversary. It's titled Seasons of Love, and there are sure to be some favorites from the more than 165 songs performed over the past nine seasons. Can't wait!