A Decade of Harmony

By Jeanne Shook  |  Photograph by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
From the Holiday 2018 issue

BB-camp-chorus

Since becoming a member of the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus 10 years ago, Sheila Maden can’t stop singing its praises: “I’m reminded of these lines from ‘Cabaret’: ‘What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play.’ The chorus gets me out of my room into a happy place.” Maden, who leads the tenor section, is one of 24 original choristers.

Alas, such a spectacle has eluded me. My first close encounter was decidedly unsatisfactory, along Route 50 one afternoon, where on the shoulder an eagle was pecking frantically at a flattened possum. We made brief eye contact. Frankly, I think we were both embarrassed.

Now a 90-member ensemble, the community choral group is the musical component of CAMP Rehoboth, an LGBTQ community service non-profit founded in 1990 to “Create a More Positive Rehoboth.” Formed in 2009, the chorus lives up to its CAMP acronym, advancing the organization’s mission to celebrate diversity and build a more cohesive community — through the power of song.

Outreach Coordinator Dianna Johnston notes that people “often assume that we are primarily a gay chorus performing for gay audiences. In fact, the chorus is a mix of gay and straight singers, whose goal is to provide a high-quality, entertaining musical experience that will appeal to the entire community.”

From Broadway to blues, from the Great American Songbook to rock ’n’ roll, the group has performed approximately 165 different songs over the last decade. Under the longtime leadership of Artistic and Musical Director Doug Yetter, the chorus and accompanist David Zipse will commemorate its decade of harmony with “Seasons of Love,” an anniversary retrospective of the best of audience and chorus favorites.

Weekly rehearsals started in October, as the chorus fine-tunes the musical selections it will perform during a four-concert series in February at Epworth United Methodist Church near Rehoboth Beach. As evidenced by the number of sold-out shows in past years, the group’s “joy and love of song is contagious,” says Johnston.

 

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