Choral Society Brings Sweet Music To The Holiday

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The five-dozen-plus members of the Payson Choral Society love to sing.

Daria Mason loves to direct.

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Payson Choral Society conductor Daria Mason "plays" her instrument -- the more than five-dozen members of the choir.

At two performances, Saturday, Dec. 8, they will bring their holiday concert, "What Sweeter Music," to the stage.

"I love to sing. Anywhere I get a chance to, I sing," said the choir's second longest-term member, Robert "Doctor Z" Muggli.

His comments where echoed by the three youngest members of the choir, middle school students Kaitie Jones, Katie Schouten and Sierra Royer.

It is nice that even young students enjoy singing with the group, Mason said.

"I sing everywhere, pretty much," Jones said.

She and Schouten look forward with a bit of nervous anticipation to singing "A Special Night" as a duet.

"It is a carol I've never heard before, so it is really neat to learn a new song," Schouten said.

The choir as instrument

"The sound of a choir is brought about by the director. They want the notes pronounced this way or that way. We are the instrument for the director," Muggli said.

Royer auditioned for the choir after the 2006 Christmas concert.

Practice opened up a new world of sound to the teenager.

"I was amazed when we started singing our scales and we all had different voices," she said.

One of those sopranos belongs to Rosemary Chubinski. She is the only remaining charter member from the first concert March 23, 1991.

"It started with 12 or 15 members. By June of '92, it had 23 members," Muggli said.

Presently, the choir has about 65 members.

The fact that it is the only venue in town for singing keeps Chubinski coming back.

"And, the people who are passionate about practicing, performing and giving back to the community," she added.

Mason is choir's fourth director.

With each new director, members needed to adjust to a different style.

"I'd think, it couldn't get any better than what we have but each director brings something new to the table that you like as much as, or more," Chubinski said.

Mason sometimes gives the choir members metaphor to bring out the sound she wants to hear them attain.

"She'll tell us to ‘sing in the bubble, you don't want to sound like you are out of the bubble,' and the sound changes," Chubinski said.

"Twenty guys standing around could still sing, but they wouldn't sound like a choir because there would be no one there to play the instrument," Muggli said.

He will reprise a solo he performed with the choir's 1991 holiday concert, "Christmas Day." It is a fantasy on two old carols by Gustav Holst.

"Shepherd's Pipe Carol," "Fum Fum Fum," "Sing We Now of Christmas," and "How Long a Rose Ere Blooming" are a few of the carols the audience will hear.

Fum Fum Fum is a traditional Spanish carol.

Jennifer Baltz will perform "White Christmas" as a solo.

"There are some serious and some frivolous songs. It will be a great time. I'm sure people will enjoy it," Muggli said.

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