A message from Decatur Choral Society…

 

As I started to write this letter, I thought about all the words that are being used to describe the current circumstances: unprecedented, crisis, lockdown, social distancing, isolation…  But I don’t need to recount what is happening in the world.  Instead, I offer a different word: hope.

We have seen hope springing up in the people who report to work every day to keep essential businesses running, in those who are on the front lines, healing and protecting us.  We have also seen it in the spontaneous acts of generosity, kindness, and unity that are being reported from all over the globe.  In many of these instances, hope is being ushered in through music.  People singing collectively from their windows and balconies, or just one voice singing into an empty street.  Musicians joining forces from neighboring houses or apartments, or broadcasting live shows on social media for all to enjoy.  Hope and music weave through all of humanity, holding us together.

Clinically speaking, music has the power to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety and depression, improve blood flow and memory, and much more.  But it goes deeper than that.  “I think music in itself is healing,” American musician Billy Joel once said. “It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by.”

Although we will not be able to share music together in person this May, I pray you will find joy and hope in the music that you love.

Becky Stubblefield
President, Decatur Choral Society

 

Below is an excerpt from a song that Opus 24 has performed in the past.  It has brought me comfort and hope during this time.  Perhaps it will do the same for you.

Every good gift, all that we need and cherish,
Comes from the Lord in token of his love;
We are his hands, stewards of all his bounty,
His is the earth and His the heavens above.
Praise to thee, O Lord, for all creation!
Give us thankful hearts that we may see
All the gifts we share, and every blessing.
All things come of thee.

Look at the World
John Rutter

All the Stars Shone Forth…

As the new President of the Decatur Choral Society Board of Directors, please allow me to introduce myself.  I’m a born-and-raised Decaturite, a 1999 graduate of MacArthur High School, a 2003 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, and I’ve lived in or near Decatur my entire life.  I currently work at Millikin University, and serve on the Community Foundation’s Next Gen committees.

Music has always been a part of my life.  My parents like to tell me that I was singing before I could talk, and dancing as soon as I could walk.  I studied ballet as a child, performed with Big B.O.S.S. and the Decatur Young Park Singers, sang in choir during high school and college, and led praise & worship at my church for over a decade.  Opus 24 is by far one of the best choral groups I’ve performed with, and to be part of a group that is so passionate about music continues to inspire me.

We at Opus 24 and Decatur Choral Society are excited to bring you “All the Stars Shone Forth” this November.  Stars have always been a guiding force in the universe.  Sailors used them to navigate the open sea, migrating birds use stars as guidance…and three men followed a star to find a newborn child.  With this concert, we hope to bring a bit of that guiding light down to earth.

I hope you will join us on November 26.  Thank you for your continued support of Opus 24 and the Decatur Choral Society.

Becky Stubblefield
President, Decatur Choral Society

Many thanks…

July 1 marked the completion of my 3-year term as Decatur Choral Society President.  It’s been an honor and pleasure to work with those who are making ongoing contributions to the success of Opus 24 and choral music opportunities in our community.

I look forward to serving the remainder of my time on the board under the leadership of Becky Stubblefield, who succeeds me as President.  We also welcome Kathi McClugage to the DCS Board.  She was one of the original founders of Opus and will offer valuable insights as we move forward.  Nancy Salefski has completed her board term and has offered to continue being involved with our newsletter and church mailings.  Thank you, Nancy!

August will usher in the beginning of school and fall schedules. Opus rehearsals will soon follow in September.  Thanks once again for all of your support!

Sheryl Frye

DCS Board/Opus 24