Choir to perform spring concert March 13-14 in Gold Canyon

From left, Carla Hillmer, Phyliss Saxton and Karen Carnahan will be among the featured performers when the MountainBrook Village Voices choir presents its spring concert "Celebration" March 13-14 in Gold Canyon. (Special to Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA/Bill Wash)

From left, Carla Hillmer, Phyliss Saxton and Karen Carnahan will be among the featured performers when the MountainBrook Village Voices choir presents its spring concert “Celebration” March 13-14 in Gold Canyon. (Special to Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA/Bill Wash)

The MountainBrook Village Voices choir will perform “Celebration,” which is the theme for this year’s annual spring concert. It will take place at 7 p.m. Friday, March 13, and Saturday, Mar 14, in the community’s Superstition Center, 5782 S. MountainBrook Drive in Gold Canyon.

The “celebration” takes place at a hometown reunion with a special couple who meet and reminisce as they travel through time recalling their adventures in life and love.

Many of the choir members are seasoned vocalists. Carla Hillmer has been a member of the choir for 10 years singing alto.

“My mother had a wonderful voice and would sing from hymnals with me as a child every night before going to bed. My voice is a blessing as I’ve never had any vocal training,” she told me during our interview. “I have fond memories of singing in high school musicals, school choir and senior a cappella and now with my church choir.”

Ms. Hillmer is modest as she feels honored to have been chosen to sing solo in a brief interlude during the singing of “Stormy Weather” by the women’s section of the choir.

This will be the 10th year Phyliss Saxton has sung tenor with the choir.

“Vocal runs in my family. As a child with five siblings, we all sang to Grandma and Grandpa every Sunday as we harmonized old standards,” she told me. “As the age of 16, I had my own 30-minute time slot on a Saturday afternoon radio program singing country standards”

At age 18, she sang in her high school vaudeville shows.

“In 1980, I was named Mrs. Minnesota Country Music and won a trip to Nashville. Today, I sing in my church choir as well as at nursing homes to entertain the residents,” she recalled. “I just love to sing and entertain.”

Karen Carnahan has complemented the choir since 2007 as mistress of ceremonies and with her delightful narration.

“I can’t hold a note so I contribute with my other vocal skills of melodic projection and eloquent diction,” she told me.

As interviewer, I hasten to add that she is too modest to mention her infectious sparkling smile. As a very talented actress with the MountainBrook Village Theatre, she also enjoys performing with other choir members in the many numerous skits written to accompany the choir’s theme.

“I’ve appeared as Mrs. Santa Claus, the Sugar Plum Fairy, a can-can dancer and so many others. I also enjoy my occasional off-script ad-libbing with the director which the audience always enjoys,” she told me. “I especially enjoy the warm camaraderie with and among the choir members.”

Although the choir has a director who fills the hall with enchanting music and song, it will be Ms. Carnahan’s narration that will lead the “Celebration” from music and songs to skits to intermission and to the finale.

The choir of 70 members will perform on March 13-14 under the direction of Patty Sobek. The choir will be accompanied by Marty Robison on the piano entertaining with 90 minutes of favorite tunes from the 1940s and ‘50s.

Open seating tickets are $8 each and include refreshments at intermission. Tickets are available at the MountainBrook Village activity office and at the door prior to each evenings performance.

For more information, call the activity office at 480-983-5555.

From left, Carla Hillmer, Phyliss Saxton and Karen Carnahan will be among the featured performers when the MountainBrook Village Voices choir presents its spring concert "Celebration" March 13-14 in Gold Canyon. (Special to Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA/Bill Wash)

From left, Carla Hillmer, Phyliss Saxton and Karen Carnahan will be among the featured performers when the MountainBrook Village Voices choir presents its spring concert “Celebration” March 13-14 in Gold Canyon. (Special to Independent Newsmedia Inc. USA/Bill Wash)

Bill Wash is the public relations manager for MountainBrook Village Voices and MountainBrook Village Theatre.

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