Lifestyle

Hear sounds of music with 101 Voices of the Valley choir

Members of the Voices of the Valley choir include, from left, Dave Battey, Cathy Brumbaugh, Peggy Richter, Rachel Combs, Jennifer Boivin, Harley Brumbaugh, Jim Elliott, Pat Kelly, Lori Herstrom, Patsy Kilpatrick, Jim Richter, Lorna Young, Barbie Douglas, Tom Ayres, Linda Boord, Norma Jenner, Lacy Plunkett, Ernie Jenner, Denise Ritthaler, Dave Edwards, Diane Keener, Gloria McNeely and Lynn Ritthaler. - Courtesy image
Members of the Voices of the Valley choir include, from left, Dave Battey, Cathy Brumbaugh, Peggy Richter, Rachel Combs, Jennifer Boivin, Harley Brumbaugh, Jim Elliott, Pat Kelly, Lori Herstrom, Patsy Kilpatrick, Jim Richter, Lorna Young, Barbie Douglas, Tom Ayres, Linda Boord, Norma Jenner, Lacy Plunkett, Ernie Jenner, Denise Ritthaler, Dave Edwards, Diane Keener, Gloria McNeely and Lynn Ritthaler.
— image credit: Courtesy image

A musician and educator all his life, Snoqualmie resident Harley Brumbaugh has always wanted to draw Valley residents together through music.

When the Bellevue College music program founder moved to Snoqualmie years ago, it was his dream to start a community choir.

So when Snoqualmie Valley Arts founder Richard Burhans tapped Brumbaugh for the first annual Snoqualmie Festival of Music — planned at North Bend’s Mountain Meadows Farm this summer — he grabbed the opportunity to make his longtime idea a reality.

“The artistic and emotional health of a community is measured in many ways,” Brumbaugh said. “One is how active they are in the arts, because music draws people together.”

An originally planned 15 member choir wasn’t dramatic enough for Brumbaugh.

“It’s not big enough to represent the Valley,” he said.

Taking a queue from a group called “101 Strings,” Brumbaugh offered to create the “101 Voices of the Valley.”

A feat many may not think possible, Brumbaugh explained that even before he was able to get the word out about the new choir, he had about 70 confirmed members.

“It just has been mushrooming,” he said.

Involving three different church choirs throughout the Valley, Brumbaugh said he definitely does not want the community choir to become just a church choir.

“I want everybody to be coming, because we’re going to be doing a variety of music,” he said.

Planning on performing folk, spiritual, Hollywood and Broadway hits from musicals such as “Oklahoma” and “The Sound of Music,” Brumbaugh will also air a personal song he wrote years ago from a poem he had written as a young boy living in Snoqualmie called “Four Riverside Reflections.”

There are no auditions to take part. Brumbaugh explained that throughout his entire career he’s been fortunate to have worked with outstanding groups that have performed all over the place without auditions. He will keep this same mentality as he creates the Valley choir.

“I tell people that I’m not nearly as interested in their voice as I am with their listening,” he said. “God has given us the ability that when you hear the sound, you’ll do it.”

With few expectations besides a passion to sing and the ability to work with others, choir members must also be 18 or older, with exceptions for high school students with an accompanied parent.

“I want this to be as much family-oriented as possible,” he said. “It’s up to me to make this exciting and stimulating enough to make people come back.”

Eight two-hour rehearsals for the 101 Voice of the Valley Choir will begin Monday, June 14 and run through Aug. 3, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cascade Covenant Church.

The first annual Snoqualmie Festival of Music is Aug. 7 and 8. The festival is a weekend to wine and dine to the musical talents of the Valley and fellow musicians from across North America.

For more information on the festival, call (425) 888-7432. To join the choir, contact Harley Brumbaugh at (425) 831-7781 or e-mail HCBRUM@earthlink.net.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.