Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 2
Coastal Voices holds annual benefit Spaghetti dinner with karaoke
By JOE PAYNE
Every year at the annual Spaghetti and Song event put on by Santa Maria’s only community choir, the Coastal Voices, members usually entertain throughout the evening. But choir members won’t get to hog the microphone all night at this year’s event.
For the first time, the fundraiser dinner event will feature karaoke, so attendees can join in the music making, choir member or not. The event has also moved to a new, larger venue, explained Coastal Voices board president and choir member Juliann Hemphill, so more people can attend and sing some karaoke too.
“I’m excited this year for the changes,” Hemphill said. “And with the karaoke, I think that will be fun for our singers and our guests because it opens up another avenue for vocal expression.”
The Coastal Voices is all about vocal expression. The community choir organized officially as a nonprofit in 2004 with the express purpose of allowing locals a welcome and open choir to sing in, and to preserve choral music in the valley.
The choir is about as community as it gets. It’s not an audition choir, Hemphill said, and the spaghetti dinner is the only fundraiser it does each year.
“We definitely take all comers and work with them to develop their vocal qualities,” she said. “We love vocal music and love supporting vocal music in the community.”
Members of the choir like Sondra Smith, who also serves on the board of the Coastal Voices, have been involved with the chorus since its inception.
Smith said that the choir is an edifying organization to be a part of because it gives her a constant creative outlet with friends.
“It’s very significant and important to me, the fact that I can sing in a group, it’s joyful and uplifting,” Smith said. “And to entertain my community, to contribute to the artistic endeavors in the community, is enjoyable as well.”
Coastal Voices members will get to share their skills solo, as well as in small groups, during the karaoke at the Spaghetti and Song event on March 18. There will also be two songs performed by the whole choir, Hemphill explained.
The two songs are programmed for the choir’s annual spring concert happening May 20 and 22 this year, which will feature music of the 1950s. The spaghetti dinner serves as a fun teaser for the upcoming concert, Hemphill said.
“We’re doing some really fun things,” she said, “it will be great.”
The other great thing about the fundraiser is actually the spaghetti, Hemphill added.
“Well, we like to consider ourselves a gourmet spaghetti dinner,” she said. “I believe our spaghetti is coming from VTC this year, but it comes in a good meat sauce and we serve some bread and salad, and then a cupcake, so it’s fun.”
Managing Editor Joe Payne sang next to the Coastal Voices years ago while a music student at Allan Hancock College. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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