The Hudson Mills Regional Choir is giving local voices a great opportunity

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The chorus practicing inside the Dexter United Methodist Church. photo by Lonnie Huhman

The coming month will highlight the talents of the Hudson Mills Regional Choir as they will be participating in some local events, including the upcoming Memorial Day ceremony in downtown Dexter.

The regional choir is currently made up of members from the Dexter community, but as its name implies it is looking to expand into the greater Hudson Mills region and hopes to add voices from neighboring communities like Pinckney, Chelsea, Hamburg, Stockbridge, Gregory, and maybe Brighton, Howell and west Ann Arbor.

The upcoming events will highlight what they are about, especially for those who might be interested in joining.

The Sun Times News (STN) recently sat in on a practice at the Dexter United Methodist Church. The chorus is led by Mark Loring, and is in the next phase of coming out of the Dexter Community Choir, which was formed in 2019.

Gordon Darr, who also helps with the chorus and is the Founder and President of The Hudson Education Center, describes the chorus this way.

“We are a multi-generational choir that is a member of New Horizons International,” he said. “We are very small at the present time, but we pull personnel in from the Hudson Music Center periodically, to add to our sound. Our six to eight core members are the very heart of enthusiasm and commitment. We sincerely believe we will be performing something big, with 50 local voices, like Handel's Messiah, within two years.”

He said their core recruitment is to area adults, “including folks that have never sung formally.”

“The New Horizons organization recruits from ages 50 and up,” Darr said. “We hope to have all ages, all levels of experience, and even, all varieties of talent. We want everybody singing!”

STN asked Darr what motivated the creation of the regional group. He said it started with the Dexter Community Choir.

Darr said, “As we went out and about seeking new members, we realized that the idea of basing it out of the Hudson Mills area had a certain appeal. Bringing together people from all of these communities seemed like the right thing to do. And its appeal to a larger area would be enhanced by rebranding it for the greater Hudson Mills Area.”

The chorus focuses on familiar melodies from the classics and American Songbook, as well as endearing melodies from the madrigal tradition of vocal music.

“We perform music that our audiences will recognize and enjoy, and new material that they will come to love,” said Darr.

During the practice that STN visited, they were practicing the Armed Forces Medley and Shenandoah.

They will be performing their Spring concert at 3 p.m. on May 22, at the Dexter United Methodist Church. This is free to the public. They will be joined by guest performer Celia van den Bogert, a harp teacher at the Hudson Music Center. 

And they have a spot during the Memorial Day ceremony program at Monument (gazebo) Park, which follows the parade that begins at 10 a.m. on May 30 in downtown Dexter.

Friends and prospective members are welcome to visit their rehearsals at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights, at the Dexter United Methodist Church, at 7643 Huron River Drive.

For more information, go to hecmusic.org, or call us on (734) 645-1856, or via email info@hecmusic.org.

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