I often end a singing season by happily mentioning to my music friends I want to do something entirely new — maybe a stint on a community theater stage singing a show tune, or even taking up tap dancing — something to keep my love of the arts going strong, but just something new.

And, in the end, I tend to stay where I am comfortable and safe, where I can keep singing the classical music, or some lost musical gem that gives a large community choir a chance to shine in four-part glory.

But if I did ever step out of my comfort zone, I might want to do something that looks really fun, like a chance to be part of Derry's Rhythm of New Hampshire Show Chorus, now singing strong in full force on Thursday evenings at the Marion Gerrish Community Center while celebrating May as "Spring Into Harmony" Month.

And these ladies definitely have harmony. As an official chapter of the world-famous Sweet Adelines barbershop organization, this choir has sung and competed for several years, earning awards for its rich and tight barbershop four-part a cappella sounds while bringing fun and energetic music to this area.

Through May 28, the chorus is offering a month-long look at what it does, how it works, and just how much fun it can be to join a choir, meet new friends and, best of all, make music together.

As the month ends, the chorus help kick off the opening game of the American Defenders Can-Am League, formerly the Nashua Pride. Chorus director Jessie Oslan said now is the time to give the chorus a try.

"If you think about singing, like to sing in the shower, or want to learn a new musical technique, this month is a great time to give RNH a try," she said. "Any woman of average singing ability will find a part that fits her voice range. That could be the higher of the four-part range, or the bottom tones that make up the rich lower range.

"We're not your grandmother's Sweet Adelines chorus," said show chorus president Janine Hoidahl. "RNH sings a full repertoire of blues, jazz, Broadway, and contemporary tunes."

She added this season, the chorus is tackling Broadway tunes from shows like "Hair," and "A Chorus Line" plus fun numbers featuring singers decked out in harmony and offering a musical production, "Captain Bree and Her Lady Pirates, Curse of the Maiden Voyage."

Sweet Adelines has a long history, with more than 55 years of singing barbershop harmonies worldwide.

Anyone wishing to learn more about the Rhythm of New Hampshire Show Chorus can contact the chorus at 696-7351 or visit the group online at www.rnhchorus.org. The chorus rehearses weekly at the Marion Gerrish Community Center, 39 West Broadway, at 7 p.m.

As for me, I may stick with my classics for a few more years, but I will never rule out something new, where I might be able to dress up like a pirate and sing my heart out with a group of lovely, talented women!


Julie Huss is a staff writer for the Derry News. Her column focusing on the local arts scene appears weekly. To contact her, call 421-3847 or send an e-mail to jhuss@derrynews.com.

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