On a quiet street in Wakefield, the sun beams down on little south county storefronts and rows of shiny cars, many of which sit in front of the Wakefield Baptist Church. Against a bright blue sky, with a light, warm breeze shaking the just budding branches of the church's trees, it's a gorgeous spring afternoon--and a perfect one for the first annual Spring Sing, hosted by G.E.A.R Productions!
With the kick-off of G.E.A.R's first Spring Sing, director Beth Berry welcomed guests inside, and the unified chorus stood behind her, excited to sing various classics like "Here Comes the Sun" and "Spread the Love." Many members of the group--such as Maggie, Milton, Beth, Joyce, and Leland--are also part of the Perspectives Chorus, which sings their annual Holiday Concert at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Narragansett.
"We all love singing together so much," Beth told the audience, "and we wanted another chance before this Christmas to sing together again!"
For the G.E.A.R. chorus, the bloom of spring thawing out what winter froze over was more than worth coming together to celebrate! The chorus began their practice in early February, with Perspectives' Activities Supervisor Joni Lonczak hosting nighttime rehearsals and Beth hosting daytime rehearsals so they stayed accessible for all the chorus members. The two rehearsal groups practiced separately until the week before the concert, where they made sure all their hard work synced up.
"It always comes together and sounds great in rehearsal," said Joni, who has been in charge of the Perspectives chorus for many years. "I think [the chorus] did a fantastic job."
With generous sponsorships and donations from the South Kingstown Elks Lodge, Graphic Perspective, Kingston's Camp, H&R Block, and Main Street Candy, G.E.A.R. had the funds and support necessary to ensure a warm community experience for everyone involved. Their beautifully designed programs were filled with information on the chorus participants, the benefits of singing and acting, as well as coupons and advertisements for their sponsors.
Leland, a long-time participant in the Holiday Chorus, found the event a hit: "I really liked singing in this concert," he said with a big smile. "It was a lot of fun."
Playing the piano was Animal Control Officer Arthur Smith of the Westerly Police, who once worked at the Adeline LaPlante Memorial Center. He would play the piano at the center during his lunch breaks, and when he began working at one of Perspectives' residential homes later on, he played the piano as a part of musical therapy for individuals he supported. He's also been playing piano at the Holiday Concert since its beginning years ago!
"Beth really took the reins on this one," Arthur remarked. "She did great putting this event together."
After the songs came the snacks--a wonderful spread of cupcakes, gear-shaped cookies, fruit, and other treats for the chorus members and their audience to enjoy together. The church's hall was packed with people in high spirits, all celebrating both the spring and a job well done. And with such beautiful weather, the concert set the tone for a wonderful spring evening!
A great thank you to G.E.A.R. for hosting this awesome spring event--and to the Wakefield Baptist Church and all sponsors for helping make such a great afternoon possible! We're already looking forward to another wonderful concert this Christmas season, and we hope everyone will be able to join us this year. Amazing work, everyone!