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Musical extravaganza

Performance by Highland Springs Chorus highlights opening of arts and enrichment center

Created date

June 14th, 2018
Highland Springs Chorus members Patty Jantho (left) Carolyn Jennings, and Bob O’Steen act the part in the chorus’s performance of “Come Away With Me In My Merry Oldsmobile.”

Highland Springs Chorus members Patty Jantho (left) Carolyn Jennings, and Bob O’Steen act the part in the chorus’s performance of “Come Away With Me In My Merry Oldsmobile.”

Two days after the grand opening of Highland Springs’ second clubhouse, Magnolia Place, the Highland Springs Chorus treated the North Dallas community to a musical spectacular to remember.

The chorus’s spring concert was the inaugural event in the newly unveiled arts and enrichment center inside Magnolia Place.

“There couldn’t have been a more fitting opening of our new arts and enrichment center than to showcase the talents of our residents,” says Associate Executive Director Andréa McCarther. “It was the perfect way to christen Magnolia Place.”

The theme of the concert, Sentimental Journey, took audience members on a musical tour through the ages.

“This concert was bigger than anything we’ve tried before,” says Peggy Watkins, who joined the chorus when she moved to Highland Springs more than 11 years ago. “The chorus has evolved over the years and we wanted to showcase that journey during our performance.”

Wells Field, who moved to the North Dallas community in September 2017, served as narrator and invited audience members to relive history from past to present.

“We’re on a journey through time,” chronicled Wells. “We’ll start with the horse and wagon, then travel by locomotive, automobile, boat, and plane.”

Savoring the memories, anticipating the future

The chorus’s lively selection of tunes, including “Wagon Wheel,” “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” “Bicycle Built for Two,” “Route 66,” “Moonlight Bay,” and “In Other Words” [Fly Me to the Moon], all signified progress, an apt metaphor for the chorus itself.

Under the direction of Karen Fruzia, the Highland Springs Chorus is building on a rich tradition of musical excellence established by residents throughout the years.

“The chorus started with a few of us gathered around a piano in the Hillcrest Clubhouse,” says Peggy. “We’re indebted to all those who have worked so hard over the years to make the chorus what it is today.”

Vignettes, acted by chorus members, accompanied each song and provided moments of levity and good-natured fun throughout the concert.

Highland Springs residents Sue White and Bob O’Steen were unforgettable in their roles as Daisy and Henry in “Bicycle Built for Two.”

Fitness Coordinator Leslie Doran Sparacino sparkled onstage with her rendition of “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” accompanied by resident Gregi Lopez, a talented pianist.

Collective effort

“We couldn’t have put this show together without the help of so many people at Highland Springs,” acknowledged Peggy. “The woodworkers and artists created our sets and props. The Entertainment Committee passed out programs and escorted guests to their seats. We had a dedicated crew of stage hands. The list goes on. We had support from residents and staff across the community.”

As the concert drew to a close, Sue stepped forward to recognize all the people who made the performance a success.

“If there ever was an Academy Awards show for retirement living, this was it,” chimed Sue. “It’s been a remarkable night, made possible by the talented residents and staff who live and work here.”