Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sing ‘Hallelujah’ for new choir

Patty Parsons invites all singers to join

Express Staff Writer

Patty Parsons has started the Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus, which will perform at the nexStage Theatre Dec. 20-21. Photo by David N. Seelig

Patty Parsons found her way to Sun Valley during her days as a member of the band An Exchange, based in San Francisco. For 15 years, she toured with the band, which included playing dates at major ski resorts including Aspen, Steamboat, Tahoe and Sun Valley.

"I fell in love with Sun Valley," Parsons said. "I relocated to Sun Valley in the 1970s."

Parsons learned to ski on Dollar Mountain and worked with Cathy Wygle and Laughing Stock Theater Company singing in musical comedies.

"This was the life I wanted," she said.

Parsons left the valley five years ago and moved to Fairbanks, Alaska, for a new experience and sang in a choir in Fairbanks. While attending the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, she heard Bobby Lewis sing.

"He's right out of the heart of Harlem," she said. "The place was packed. I was humbled by the sound of Bobby Lewis and by the sound the African American women could put out. It was a life-changing experience. Their music moves you to the heavens."

Parsons said she knew she had to start a choir because of Lewis' influence.

Parsons moved back to the Wood River Valley in May and put a call out for singers to start the Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus.

"I got permission from Sun Valley Resort General Manager Tim Silva to use the Sun Valley name," she said.

Parsons has 41 people in the choir but would like to have 100 and welcomes Spanish-speaking singers to join. She has planned two performances, "Christmas with the Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus" for the Christmas season on Monday, Dec. 20, and Tuesday, Dec. 21, at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum.

Parsons said she cannot afford an orchestra and is looking for players for piano, bass and drums. The choir rehearses at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum on Mondays at 5:30 p.m.

"People can join in whenever they want," Parsons said. "It's music from the heart."

For details, call 928-7676.

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