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Local Vocals looking to the public to expand their ranks ahead of Elmira concert

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Organizers of an upcoming concert in Elmira aren’t just looking for audience members, they’re asking community members to add their voices to the chorus.

The Local Vocals choral group start rehearsing March 19 for a May performance, turning to the public to recruit new members. After all, their mandate is to foster a sense of community through the fun of getting out to sing with others.

“It’s about building community more than it is about putting on a high-level performance,” said first-time choral director Tony Domzella. “Being part of the choir is quite an amazing experience, and it’s one that’s a lot of fun whether you’re an experienced singer or not.”

Along with the Breslau, Bloomingdale and Maryhill Concert Band, the Local Vocals will be performing on May 10 at Trinity United Church in Elmira, followed by a community dining experience. The event is part of Woolwich Healthy Communities Month.

The group covers a variety of music, including traditional choir pieces, world music, pop songs, and theatre songs. It was started four years ago by the Woolwich Healthy Communities volunteer group.

“The catalyst for the Local Vocals was a book written by a Harvard professor, Robert Putman,” explained Nancy Stayzer, the pianist who started the group. “He suggests that if you want to build civil societies create choral groups because people don’t have to have a particular income to join, it is a great way to get to know your community, to build relationships and it’s fun.”

Although the focus is on connection and fun, prospective singers will get the chance to develop their vocal range through the rehearsals, no matter their starting point.

Anyone interested in signing up with the group can email Stayzer at nancystayzer@gmail.com.

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