Edward Arthur "Ted" Shure is about to complete his 10th anniversary season as director of the Cuyahoga Falls Community Chorus as the Chorus enters its spring concert season.
The chorus will will mark the occasion May 19 at the Cuyahoga Falls Library with a performance which will start at 7 p.m. This concert will mark the 20th performance at the Library by the Chorus under Shure's direction.
Shure said there have been many highlights in his career, but that it would be very hard to top his first ever show as director of the chorus -- performing at the Natatorium before the arrival of former President George W. Bush, whose campaign stops included Cuyahoga Falls in October 2004.
"I'll never forget receiving a phone call from 'area code 202' while I was teaching on a Friday at approximately 12:45 p.m.," Shure said. "A voice on the other end announced he was calling from the White House and gave me 24 hours notice to gather information about the members of the chorus for the Secret Service for a performance the very next day at noon. Those that remember that day in early October will recall the chilling rain that fell all morning right up until the clouds parted and the sun appeared upon President Bush's arrival at the Natatorium. It was quite something!
"Since then, however, we have been honored to participate in many special occasions including the grand opening of the Blossom lights at Christmas, the grand opening of the Ice Rink at Falls River Square (for which we have performed every year since), many events for our former Mayor, Don Robart, and the first of what we hope will be annual performances at Playhouse Square in Cleveland. Perhaps the most important of all of these are concerts that honor and benefit others. We maintain our concerts in retirement and nursing homes. It is wonderful looking out and seeing smiles on the faces of the residents. You know they are touched! We organized a special event to benefit Cuyahoga Falls Good Neighbors and raised several hundred cans of food in the springtime with a performance in the Amphitheater at Falls River Square to help eradicate hunger in our local community. We also perform annually at the Memorial Day observances at Oakwood Cemetery and for the Survivors Dinner at Bolich Middle School for the Relay for Life."
Shure said the chorus is open to anyone, whether they are practiced musicians or if they can't read music.
"When I took over the chorus from Walter Wilde in 2004, the Chorus was not auditioned," Shure said. "I have maintained that practice. I continue to accept young and young at heart, musicians and non-musicians and those who can't read a note of music. Some love to sing in the shower but have never had the confidence to sing in an ensemble. Every year I evaluate our abilities and we work hard as a team to sound the best that we can. I do challenge the group with difficult repertoire that helps them to grow but we still have a varied program that includes all genres of music I often identify us as 'the little engine that could.' I am always blessed by bringing a group of unlikely characters together that are hugely diverse in all ways, and turning them into a solid ensemble that expresses music beautifully together."
For the May 19 concert, the chorus will perform a medley from Fiddler on the Roof and many other pieces.
"This year marks the 50th Anniversary of 'Fiddler's' Broadway premiere," Shure said. "A little known fact is that my great uncle, Luther Adler, shared the role of Tevye with Zero Mostel when the show premiered and Adler took the role on tour. We will also be honoring our Armed Services as we do every spring. This will give folks an opportunity to see what we are about and hopefully hearing us will inspire them to come and join us in the fall."
The chorus rehearses Monday nights following Labor Day from 7 to 9 p.m. at Summit Christian School in Cuyahoga Falls. For details, contact Shure at firstname.lastname@example.org, go to the Chorus webpage at www.CFChorus.com, follow the Chorus on Twitter @CFChorus.com, and "like" the Chorus page on Facebook.