Krista Corner Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi-Liners who love to sing and have choir experience may want to perk up their ears. Frank Payn, former Havre High School choir director, and a few others formed a new community choral group, known as Choral Fusion, earlier this year. The group, which is now about 15 members strong, is looking to expand its membership to perform a wider variety of music. "We're doing eight-part music as well as some simpler stuff," Payn said. "We want at least four people to a part so we can do some really challenging music we don't get to do otherwise." Payn said he and members of the Montana State University-Northern Community Choir forged the new group with people who had similar training. "Last year we just went around and talked to people we knew who had that kind of background and that's how we put (Choral Fusion) together," Payn said, adding that community members should know right up front that Choral Fusion is not replacing the MSU-Northern Community Choir currently directed by Jan Wyberg. "This is not an attempt to replace the (MSU-N) Community Choir," Payn said. "We're just some people who want to sing more than just once in the fall and to do a little bit wider variety of music. Most of us are going to continue to sing with the community choir." The MSU-N Community Choir is open to community members and available as an opportunity for students at Northern to get another credit, Payn said. The choir meets once a week during the fall semester. "They only sing for half a year," he said. "We wanted to try and get together a group that sings year-round, and that's why we got this group together. One of the things that's different is that we're going to be doing some vocal jazz, as well. We want to do a really wide range of music beyond just straight choral music." Payn said anyone can audition for Choral Fusion, but people with background or training in chorus groups are preferred. "It's more of a select group of people who have similar backgrounds and training," Payn said of the current membership. "(Those auditioning) should have a pretty good ability to sight read and have some choral experience, because of the difficulty of music we are doing." The choir meets once a week for two hours, and Payn said he wants to assure potential members that auditions won't be grueling and the group won't expect the music to be committed to memory. "(The auditions) are (about whether) you have the ability and background to perform this kind of music," he said. "We'll have folders (of music) like a lot of community choirs do. I would say if people are interested in adding some singing experience into their life they should give us a call and we'll take it from there." Choral Fusion has one performance event under its belt, and plans to gain a few more before the end of the year. The group first sang during the annual meeting of Hill County Electric and Triangle Telephone cooperatives, Payn said, adding that Choral Fusion plans to perform Christmas selections for the Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line's brand new Christmas holiday fun fundraiser, the Festival of Trees, which will be held Dec. 6. A full winter concert, featuring a multitude of selections, is also planned for December. "We're planning about a dozen selections of songs we want to do," Payn said. "We're getting together Thursday to discuss some dates and venues (for) a full concert. It will be a combination of regular choral music and Christmas music collections. Some will be serious, and others will be lighter." Payn has been a part of Havre's choral history for a number of years. "Over the time I've been here, I've directed several community choirs," he said. With Choral Fusion, he plans to direct several songs, but also let others lead the choir, as well. "There are others, such as Angela Pratt, who will also be directing some of the music we are doing this year," he said. "I think we can offer the community a really high quality performance." Vocalists interested in auditioning for the group can call Frank Payn at 265-2585.