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Chorale director finds purpose in song

Created date

June 21st, 2010

Glen Yarberry s life has been filled with song. Schooled in the trombone and tuba, he plays both with passion and proficiency. For more than 40 years, he worked as a musical instrument professor. He even married Marybeth, a professional singer for the Chicago Symphony Chorus. And to this day, the song in his life keeps getting better. [caption id="attachment_12370" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Pianist Kathryn Nickolls accompanies Wind Crest Chorale Director Glen Yarberry on the tuba."] When Mr. and Mrs. Yarberry moved to Wind Crest in 2008, they saw the Wind Crest Chorale give a performance. During it, Mrs. Yarberry leaned over to her husband and whispered in his ear, I think we could help them. Since then, they ve been putting their professional skills to use: she warms up the 40-member chorus during their Tuesday and Thursday rehearsals, and he directs them. At first, Mr. Yarberry was skeptical of his ability to direct. After all, the last chorus he had led was a group of high school kids in the 1950s, but his wife encouraged him, and he s glad she did. The adult voice is not as secure as the younger voice, he says, but through practice and more practice, the mixture of voices sounds good, and we have a product we can be proud of. [caption id="attachment_12369" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Marybeth Yarberry takes a cue from her husband, Wind Crest Chorale Director Glen Yarberry."] The Wind Crest Chorale is made up of four different voices: tenor, bass, alto, and second soprano. The group used to only be able to perform three-part pieces, but with the increasing amount of people and voice ranges, now the chorale can perform four-part pieces. I m very pleased with the growth of the group, Mr. Yarberry says. No audition is required; the only thing Mr. Yarberry encourages is a love of singing and fun. Though he teaches how to read music a bit, many people don t know the skill, so there s a lot of rote learning, or learning by ear and repetition. The pianist will play a note on the piano, and the singers will match the voice to the note. Mr. Yarberry also teaches the group about musical nuance, terminology, and the notes on the staff.

Singing with purpose

TheWind CrestChorale is not just a group that gets together twice a week to rehearse. They are rehearsing for a purpose. Over the course of a season, which begins every fall and ends in the late spring they take the summers off the chorale will perform at least two concerts atWind Crest. Recently, they were asked to perform at the Eden Alternative International Conference at the Westin Hotel in downtown Denver. It s the first time we ve ever gone downtown as a group, Mr. Yarberry says. The Eden Alternative is a not-for-profit organization that believes in inspiring well-being in elders and their care partners. The chorale was honored and excited to perform for such a worthy cause. When picking pieces to learn and perform, Mr. Yarberry chooses a range of music, from serious to fun, he says. They ve performed a tribute to the fighting man where all the veterans in the crowd stood up and were recognized. And they ve performed old-time favorites like You Must Remember This, a Kiss Is Still a Kiss. Mr. Yarberry has always had a passion and great respect for both music and musicians. He s been a band director, instrument teacher, and director of fine arts, all in the pursuit of making the world a better and brighter place through music. And he continues to do so atWind Crest. What s most important to him is that people enjoy singing in the chorale. I was a college teacher for a very long time, and teaching older adults is a different ballgame, he says. But everyone seems to have a wheel of a time doing it, and that s why we re here. TheWind CrestChorale already has two performances lined up for the upcoming 2010 2011 season. Stay tuned for details.