El Cajon library hosts musical evening with Santee Community Chorus

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As the Santee Community Chorus got ready to begin its concert at the El Cajon branch library on June 22, chorus member Anne Ault announced the first song, “Rise Up and Sing” as a song that “pays tribute to the power of music in our lives,” which also seems to be the reason the chorus was formed.

As the Santee Community Chorus got ready to begin its concert at the El Cajon branch library on June 22, chorus member Anne Ault announced the first song, “Rise Up and Sing” as a song that “pays tribute to the power of music in our lives,” which also seems to be the reason the chorus was formed.
Singing together for three years, the Santee Community Chorus started in a true community effort. Founding members posted signs in Santee on Mast Blvd., invited members of church choirs to join, others heard of the chorus by word of mouth or were friends of members. One prevailing common denominator united them—they all loved to sing, wanted to experience it together and share it with other people.
Director Elizabeth Kimery led the chorus with Jan Ault as accompanist. The chorus chose thirteen songs to perform that included a wide variety of classics, show tunes, and inspirational selections. Comprised of men and women, the chorus is open to all ages, but currently has what Ault referred to as “empty nesters.” The energy of the chorus was uplifting as every member was there by choice, smiling as they sang.
Kimery is a Julliard graduate who sang opera in Germany and concerts in the U.S. She watched as the group from its small beginnings to more than 20 members.
“Not necessarily do they read music. There are one or two in each section who can, but they all just love to sing,” she said. 
Once a week, the chorus practices at the United Methodist Church in Santee. Its goal is to perform once a month.
“We do a lot of going out to convalescent homes,” said Ault.
This was its third library concert and performed at a cancer walk.
“We never charge, we’re all volunteers,” said Kimery. “What they do, they do for pure enjoyment.”
Filling up the entire Community Room at the library, the chorus ended with “Music of Life,” and added value to its musical selections by sharing interesting facts for the songs performed. For instance, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was almost cut from the movie, The “Wizard of Oz” (evidently it was believed the song slowed the movie down). It is hard to imagine a world without that song, harder to imagine a world without music. That will not happen in this part of the world, in the harmonic presence of the Santee Community Chorus with its vocal enthusiasm and infectious appreciation for music. Their tribute to it is natural.
The Santee Community Chorus will perform next month at the Santee Branch Library on July 15 at 7:00 p.m. Its website is santeecommunitychorus.com.

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