By: Julie Dermody | Category: Other | Issue: January 2009
The Owasso Community Choir begins open enrollment January 12, 2009.
Resonating voices raised in beautiful harmony tickle the senses, giving a tingling sensation all over and uplifting the spirit. Beautiful sounds echo in the halls of the Owasso Community Center on Monday evenings, where a group of more than 60 individuals from all walks of life and ages come together to sing – this is Owasso’s Community Choir.
The one thing that separates those who make things happen and those who don’t is action. What started as a dream of Dr. Heather Van Wyhe while on a trip to her family home in Minnesota a few years ago has now blossomed into an exciting group with a love of song. Dr. Van Wyhe took her dream to city leaders, and they introduced her to JoAnn Barker, a choral director for the Owasso school district. Dr. Van Wyhe’s dreams became reality with the talent and knowledge of Mrs. Barker. “I had this dream of a community choir, and JoAnn offered a bigger picture of tours not just in Owasso, but beyond our nation’s borders as well,” said Van Wyhe. “Her vision was one I embraced.”
This choir engages in several community-based activities, singing at Drillers Stadium on Owasso night, at the Christmas Parade, and at the Fourth of July celebration, in addition to the two free concerts they perform every year. “We believe the choir fulfills a very definite need within the community,” said Van Wyhe. “The choir is run by a committee whose enthusiasm is matched only by its energy to ensure the choir's progress continues.”
Owasso’s Community Choir is open to anyone who would like to experience singing with other people. You may be seventeen, eighty-three, pushing forty or ten – if you have a love of song and desire to be part of something big, the Owasso Community Choir wants you. Open enrollment begins on January 12. Barker explains, “We think the success of the choir is built on a number of things. Especially important is the fact that we are open to anyone and everyone. There is no audition, a process that excludes the timid.”
Membership requirements include a desire and drive to sing and be present at rehearsals. Scholarships are made available for those who have a desire to join but for financial reasons are reluctant. “We want this to be a true community choir and to do that, it has to be open to everyone regardless of their financial status,” said Barker. “We give everybody the opportunity to join, to develop their singing and become part of a really good choir,” said Van Wyhe.
Van Wyhe and Barker, along with generous support from city leaders and participation from volunteer singers, are making the Owasso Community Choir a cornerstone in the advancement of the arts in Owasso.
“One day Owasso will have a performing arts building that will showcase the talented community we have,” said Van Wyhe. Her dream is possible, and through the generosity and participation of the community, it can come to fruition.
Owasso Community Choir is a 501c3 organization; all donations are tax deductible. If you would like more information on how to participate or donate, contact Dr. Heather Van Wyhe at (918) 274-9299.