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Area choir ready to take stage

POSTED: September 14, 2009 10:13 a.m.
Courier file photo/

Ron Calhoun

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Members of the Liberty County Community Area Mass Choir are practicing for their upcoming performance at Club Stewart’s spiritual fitness luncheon. The singers have been rehearsing every Tuesday at 8 p.m. for the event, which is scheduled for  11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15. The luncheon is a pre-deployment celebration for 3rd Infantry Division soldiers.
Chaplain Donald Rutherford, deputy chief of chaplain in Washington, D.C., is the guest speaker. Rutherford is a former 3rd ID chaplain.
Choir founder and co-director Ronald Calhoun and co-director Donna Pearson say their singers are excited to participate in the event. “About 18 singers will be singing in the choir for this event,” Calhoun said.  
Organized in 2003, the Liberty County Community Area Mass Choir has performed in many programs. According to Calhoun, his goal in organizing the choir was to bring a solid music program to Liberty County.
“We are the only program that draws a cross section of people from all denominations,” he said. “Since we started, approximately 150 singers have been involved in the various concerts we have held. This is a good way of supporting the community.  
“The LCCA is a nonprofit organization and is registered with the state. Our first program was held on Easter 2003. Every year, we sing at the Annual Mayor’s Thanksgiving Service. Members of the choir donate their time to the many programs and rehearsals we have.”
“After the Spiritual Fitness Luncheon, we will take a short break,” Calhoun said. “In the fall, the choir will be presenting ‘The Fire in the Choir Concert,’ featuring ‘I’m Amazed,’ music from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The choir will present The Messiah in December.”
Calhoun is no stranger to the world of music. He teaches music lessons and master classes in Savannah and in Hinesville. In 1951, Calhoun made his radio singing debut at the age of 4, and started piano lessons at 6. He has focused on music throughout his life and studied coronet and directing with great musicians, such as Otis H. Saeter, who played with John Philip Sousa.  
Calhoun founded and directed the All-Europe Marching and Concert Band in Germany, composed of active duty military, dependants, civilians and German nationals. Calhoun has received numerous awards from the United States Armed Forces Europe.
He has served as pianist, organist, music director and orchestra director in nine churches spanning seven denominations.  Calhoun also served as music director at the First Presbyterian Church in Hinesville.
In 1993, Calhoun was declared legally blind, but that didn’t stop his participation. Repeated eye surgeries helped to partially restore his sight. In addition to teaching and direction the area choir, Calhoun is a lecturer and the dean of studies at the School of Church Music in Savannah, which helps smaller churches who cannot afford to pay for a full-time musician.
  For more information about the Liberty County Community Area Mass Choir, call 977-3322.

Anderson is the author of “Lack of Knowledge” and “Dare to Soar.”
 

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