Attention to detail -- and to the notes

Singing: As the Harford Choral Society nears its 50th anniversary, the future looks golden.

October 26, 2003|By Amanda Angel | Amanda Angel,SUN STAFF

ONE COFFEE, one tea, both without milk.

This isn't the order of two people suffering from lactose intolerance - it is for two women about to sing. No vocalist worth her herbal tea would ever imbibe dairy an hour before choral practice. Alto Vera Carroll and soprano Sharon McCamish are grabbing a bite before their 7 p.m. rehearsal with the Harford Choral Society, as they do every Tuesday. That bite doesn't include milk, which mucks up the vocal cords.

Little details such as beverage selection are meticulously followed, which might be why, as the society enters its 49th year, the two women, who both serve on the society's board of directors, are well on their way to preparing for the golden anniversary year.

The society has selected Handel's Messiah for its annual holiday concert, and it plans to sing Brahms' Requiem in the spring. Unlike in previous years, the society hopes to add a third performance in May. There also are plans to extend invitations to selected students from Harford County schools to perform the Brahms piece with the society. But the schools must send a balanced number of singers - the Choral Society is desperately searching for tenors.

McCamish and Carroll also are looking for ways to honor the society's current and former members. They hope to present plaques to the original members of the society, former directors and accompanists, and throw themselves a party.

The society will be self-publishing a cookbook as a fund-raiser; they also are accepting donations. The board of directors hopes to raise enough money to finance a European tour. Carroll and McCamish speak of an overseas trip in whispers as if the chances of a tour would evaporate if mentioned too loudly, but it is in consideration.

While the 80 members of the society occupy their spare time preparing for next season's schedule, their focus shifts directly to music director T. Herbert Dimmock III at 7 p.m. Tuesdays. He is preparing them for the holiday concert, set for Dec. 7 at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Forest Hill, where the society will perform Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols and Conrad Susa's Carols and Lullabies.

On April 25, the society will sing Bach's Easter Oratorio and Contata 140 at Fallston United Methodist Church.

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