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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Covered Bridge Country Chorus celebrating

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Director Sarah Stone, left, puts members of the Covered Bridge Country Chorus through their paces during a rehearsal for the group's upcoming show.
Greencastle's Covered Bridge Country Chorus will celebrate a milestone Friday -- the women's a capella singing group will have been incorporated for five years.

Kathy Custis is the chorus' membership coordinator, and is one the three founding members of CBCC.

"There are two of the original three of us who are still in the group," she said. "We have 28 members now, and several are charter members. Over the years we've only lost a few, and those were mostly women who moved away."

CBCC is an offshoot of the international singing organization Harmony Inc. There are only two Harmony Inc. chapters in Indiana -- the other is based in Carmel.

"Harmony Inc. is kind of like the Sweet Adelines, but smaller," Custis explained.

Denise Thede has been a member of the chorus for about four years. She joined after her youngest son was born.

"I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I just wanted to do something so I could get out," she said. "Over the years I've come to really enjoy chorus. The women are really great."

For the last four years, CBCC has been directed by Sarah Stone, who travels to Greencastle from Indianapolis every week for rehearsals.

"Sarah does a lot of vocal instruction with members individually," Custis said.

There are several sub-committees within CBCC.

"We have a music team, a choreography team and a show team," Custis said. "We have ladies who love to sew and are very good at it, so they help out that way. Members can be as involved as they want to be."

A love of music is a requirement for membership, but a vast knowledge of it is not.

"There's no big formal audition," Thede said. "It is a time commitment more than anything. We rehearse every Monday, and if you want to get into a quartet that's extra time. We also have conferences we go to, and you can take classes to improve."

Custis agreed.

"Knowing how to read music is a plus, because we do work off written arrangements," she said. "But people who are classically trained may actually have a harder time, because we do things a little differently."

New members are always welcome.

"We're always looking," Custis said. "We don't have an age limit ... we have a prospective member now who's 8 years old. We have guest nights periodically where women who are interested can come to a rehearsal, meet us and see what we're all about."

Currently, the women of CBCC are gearing up for their big annual show. This year's event, titled "All that Jazz," will feature such favorites as the title number, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and "Sentimental Journey."

The show is slated for 7 p.m. on Sept. 13 at the Parker Auditorium of McAnally Center at Greencastle High School. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Ten percent of the proceeds for the show will be donated to a local charity, Thede said.

For more information on CBCC, call 653-0514.

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