Newsletter For Village of The Village Chorale 10-2007
Carol Andrews
Vol 1 No 7  October, 2007



        The longest running music making group in the Village -  the Village Chorale - will enjoy music presented by the newest musical group in  the Village – Frankie J’s Karaoke Madness” – when they exchange the work of preparing for their winter Chorale concert for the fun of their “Annual Potluck.”  On Wednesday, November 7th passersby will undoubtedly smell the good food and hear the mellow sounds coming from the Clubhouse 3 Dining Room 1 where the Chorale will be enjoying listening to and participating in the performance of some of the 18,000 songs offered by Frankie J and his partner.

        The potluck, which is co-chaired by Marlyn Chan (enter-tainment) and Shirley Mitchell (food service), will be a respite from the busyness of preparing for the “Together for the Holidays” concert coming up December 15th.  Though Director Doug Custance is expert at making rehearsals fun and interesting the Chorale members all work through two hour rehearsal every week plus one hour part (soprano, alto, tenor, and/or bass) rehearsals at least once a month.  Add to that the current “Club 840” campaign in which all eighty Chorale members are competing to sell tickets to fill all 840 seats in the Clubhouse 3 auditorium.  At the same time, there is a push to assure that supporters (community businesses and individuals) have been apprised of the opportunity for placing their message before the concert audience via advertisements in the concert program.

       Formally, the Village Chorale is a class, taught weekly on Tuesday afternoons by our well loved Director H. Douglas Custance of the Saddleback College Emeritus Institute. Informally, we are a club, with a board and a full yearly schedule of activities. Club members are all Laguna Woods resi-dents but we welcome Guests from the surrounding area who want to experience the best of four (or even eight) part choral singing while developing ensemble sounds through correct singing and correct vocal production.
      With the careful artistry of Juanita Tsu assisting at the piano the climax of each semester’s work is our ticketed concert – on stage in the Clubhouse 3 Auditorium. Our concerts include choral literature of varying demands, styles, and periods. Our audiences have an appetite for the sparkle, the blend, and the sweep of sights and sounds by which they become enveloped.
      The announcement on May 15, 2003 that ”Doug” had accepted the position as Conductor of the Laguna Woods Chorale began four exciting and happy years in the recent life of the Chorale. Mr. Custance, well known in the world of music, has an impressive resume of appearances throughout the United States and Europe both as a soloist and as a conductor.

      The connection between the Village Chorale and Orange County Artist Steve Bjorkman is alive and well. Mr Bjorkman’s unusual ability to transfer body language to canvas in warm, whimsical strokes of ink and watercolor is a talent the Chorale has benefited from previously in his supply of cover art for Chorale programs. This year, with the program title “Together for the Holidays,” members of the December 15th concert audience will be delighted to add a third original art print to their collections.
      Our Director Doug Custance found Mr. Bjorkman’s work on display at the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts and was especially drawn to the watercolor of a fun little character with arms out-stretched exhilarating in freshly falling snow and sharing the front stoop of his home with a happy little snowman while a stream of huddling passers-by fuss their way across the canvas. That was the art Mr. Bjorkman let us use for the December, 2005 program “Home for the Holidays” concert program.
      For the May, 2006 program “From La Scala to Broadway” Mr. Bjorkman centered his fun little character on stage, This time garbed in a tuxedo, the fun little guy is boldly waving to the opera audience while peeking through the mammoth layers of wonderfully red stage curtains.

Village Chorale of 
Laguna Woods ’07-‘08
President ……….… . Carol Andrews      462-0165
Vice President…..…  Maryln Chan           454-0553
Secretary …………...  Vicki Fuggi             206-9310
Treasurer …………... Maribeth Clausen 830-1290
Past President    …… Mary Young
                       BOARD MEMBERS
Emeritus Institute Co-Liaisons…....Rita Berlin
                                             .….Marilyn Freeman
Budget Chair  …………….........    Del Matonic
Library Team Chair ……….......... Karen Min
Membership Team Chair  …...... Natalie Dean
Nominating Team Chair . …....... Shelly Ellman
Performance Team Chair . ........ Julie Matonic
Publicity Team Chair ….. .…........ Ken Min
Scholarship Team Chair …. ....   Janet Wendland Dwyer
Library Team Asst, New Music  .…. Betty Denton        
Library Team Asst, Inventory .….. . . Jeannette Rice
Membership Team Asst. Historian …..Bill St. John
Membership Team Asst, Punch & Cookie Day  .... Gloria Kirbens 
Membership Team Asst, Ann. Potluck/food . . . ….Shirley Mitchell
Membership Team Asst, Ann. Potluck/entert …. .  Marlyn Chan 
Membership Team Asst, Rebate Events..... Winnie Rice 
Nominating Team Assistant ……. ............ Dick Smith
Performance Team Asst/Auditions ... ....... Carol Smith
Performance Team Asst/Costuming... .......Linda Ewoldt
Performance Team Asst/Publications ....... Marie Spradley
Performance Team Asst/Reception ……....Lennie Habenicht
Performance Team Asst/Tickets ............... Marlyn Chan 
Performance Team Asst/ClusterTickets ..... Jerry Fiscus
Publicity Team Asst/Newsletter ….. Carol Andrews 
Publicity Team Asst/Website ..….. .. Ken Min   
Publicity Team Asst/Photography ... John Stevens
Scholarship Team Asst …..……... .. Ed Bailey  
Scholarship Team Asst ………….... Mike Kennedy
Do You Remember?
      The following article is from a Chorale scrapbook in the Village Historical Society files.   With a byline of May, 19, 1971 the article is titled “Chorale Voices to Sing Out Again.”   Stage facilities referred to in the article were the new 4-level professionally designed $1,800 risers purchased by the Chorale and the Sound Shell – a joint purchase by the Melody Men, the Laguna Woods Entertainers, the Ebell Club and the Women’s Club. In the scrapbook there are several articles commending then President Milton Hunt for his leadership in raising the funds toeffect the purchase. (Some historical names have been adjusted to comply with current administration guidelines.)
      “The thought has been expressed that a rose is the smile of God. Music and singing can convey a similar thought as voices blend in harmony.
      “Laguna Woods has a magnificent singing group – The Chorale. 
      “Who can forget the brilliant appearance of the Chorale in the premiere at the opening of Clubhouse 3? When the curtain was drawn for the second part of the premiere, the full stage of singers brought immediate applause even before the singing began.
      “The women of the Chorale were radiant in their lovely gowns of varied color. The men were handsome in their tuxedos. 
      “Laguna Woods residents will again have the pleasure of seeing and hearing the Chorale on Friday evening, May 21. It will be the Chorale’s first full concert using all of the facilities of Clubhouse 3 stage.
      “The number of members now active in the Chorale has reached 117. Ruth Payne. The Chorale’s director, will be on the podium for the last time during the concert. She has been director for two years.
      “Forest Brigham, in the first tenor section, will become director July 1, He was well-known in the Spokane, Wash., area as a choral director.
     “The Chorale was organized in July of 1966, with Fred Pierce as director. A volunteer group assembled by Russell Kimbley, founder-director of the Laguna Woods orchestra, to assist in the Christmas 1965 program, offered a starting point.
Ken Min Develops Chorale Website
     The Village Chorale is one of the few fortunate clubs in Laguna Woods -- fortunate because we have a computer techie - Ken Min - in our club. In December, ’06 he heard the Chorale for the first time and now, nine months later, Ken having completed developing the Chorale website is ready for the next step - upgrading to audio.
      Ken came to the U.S. in 1970 from Korea, earned a PhD in chemical engineering at SUNY, worked for Avery Dennison as a research scientist, lived in Cleveland, OH for 30 years and moved to Laguna Woods Village last year. The Computer has been Ken’s toy for many years. We are exceedingly grateful for Ken’s taking on the website responsibility. 
      As well Ken’s wife Karen is involved – as our Library Team Chair – a big job and we are fortunate to have her!
      Ken and Karen have been married 38 years. Their daughter Janet, married 2 years ago, is a practicing attorney in corporate law living in Santa Monica. Currently both Karen and Ken are church members, singing in their church choir. Both enjoy California’s beautiful weather and the culture of the village! Both appreciate being able to learn “the village spirit” and are glad give their best to the life of the village.