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Joyful Songsters coming together

Several members of the Joyful Songsters group rehearse "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong on Monday, March 22.
Several members of the Joyful Songsters group rehearse "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong on Monday, March 22. Photo by Katelynn Farley

The Community Choirs of Huntington County (CCHC) have a place for anyone and everyone interested in using their singing voices. One choir under the CCHC umbrella, known as the Joyful Songsters, is “designed to provide an integrated choral experience for those with and without disabilities” and is open to any teen or adult that wishes to participate.

According to the CCHC website, the choir members involved with Joyful Songsters “promote a sense of community involvement within their group and throughout the community while participating in high quality music learning and performance.”

The Joyful Songsters group was started because CCHC could see a lack of music involvement for individuals with disabilities within the community. So, in the spring of 2015, the choir took root.

According to choir member Terra Rowley, Joyful Songsters “focuses on everyone’s abilities, rather than our disabilities. We all have the ability to share and enjoy music with a smile on our face.”

Many of the members have been with the choir since its beginning. The choir’s director, Stephanie Schultz, joined the choir in 2019. Because of shutdowns in 2020, this is only her second season as director.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joyful Songsters, along with other community choirs, were unable to meet in person until the beginning of March. Many members of the choir share the opinion that having the choir has been a way to “feel connected to everyone” during the pandemic while staying safe.

Participants are distanced in seating and wear masks while singing.

The choir is currently working on three pieces to perform. During their Monday, March 22, rehearsal, the group started off by singing “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

The group’s first performance of the year has been planned for Saturday, May 1. Right now, the matter of performing in-person or virtually is still up for debate.

The Joyful Songsters group meets on Monday evenings from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Huntington Church of the Brethren, 306 Washington St., Huntington. No audition is required to join Joyful Songsters.

Auditions for other CCHC choirs are held in the spring, summer and fall.