Rome and Floyd County residents are preparing for a big event in December. Our neighbors, coworkers and friends have a big performance coming up.
That’s because the Three Rivers Singers, Rome’s community chorus, will present a concert on Dec. 15 and we’re all invited.
And it truly is a community chorus. When the group started in 2000, it was done so to provide the Rome area with opportunities for local singers to participate in choral music as well as to add the cultural richness of the community.
Lynn Todino has been a member of the Three Rivers Singers since the beginning. She was one of the founding members after the choral arm of the Rome Symphony Orchestra disbanded.
“Several of us didn’t want to disband and decided to start the Three Rivers Singers,” she said. “I enjoy singing so much. I’ve always liked it. This group is really something special. The camaraderie is wonderful.”
Todino said she’s always been a part of a musical group since she was a child.
“This is a wonderful group to work with,” she added. “We have a lot of fun but also make some pretty good music.”
The chorus has performed with the Northwest Georgia Winds at Christmas, Memorial Day and Fourth of July concerts and in Rome Area Council for the Arts-sponsored spring concerts held at Brookes Chapel at Shorter College.
Under the direction of Dr. Brian Horne for its first four seasons, the group has grown musically as well as numerically. In the fall of 2004, Kam Malone accepted the position of music director. Malone led the group for 5 seasons until August 2009 when Suzanne Scott took over as music director for 2 seasons. Len Willingham began as Music Director in June of 2011.
The singers represent a variety of vocations, economic and educational levels and musical abilities and travel from Rockmart, Cedartown, Summerville, Lyerly, Cartersville and even as Centre, Alabama to rehearse and perform. And of course as well as from Rome and Cave Spring. All share the love of creating beautiful music. Joan Hill is accompanist. And Willingham is the conductor.
“Joan is wonderful,” Todino said. “She’s technically wonderful but she also puts a lot of feeling into the music. Not everyone who’s a good pianist can accompany a group like this.It’s a gift to be able to do that.”
“And Len is just great,” she said. “He’s a lot of fun. A lot of us aren’t professional musicians but he works with us to make sure we learn our parts and we all sound good together. He’s a very good conductor and he also designs our programs and orders the music.”
Membership numbers vary but for this upcoming concert there are about 60 singers. Though they hail from across the region, most live in Floyd county and they rehears once a week from August to May. But before a concert, like the upcoming Christmas concert, rehearsals are more frequent.
And the cool thing about the Three Rivers Singers is that it’s an all-volunteer group yet they don’t charge for their performances.
“We try to do that because we know there are people who might not be able to afford it and we want everyone to experience this music,” Todino said.
But there are expenses associated with the group so they rely completely on donations.
“In many cases we have to pay for a venue for our concerts,” Todino said. “And we have to pay for the music which is expensive.”
She was quick to add, however, that the Rome community has supported the group very generously throughout the years and she’s confident that generosity will continue.
“Rome supports us very well,” she said. “And chorus members do too. We don’t pay dues but we all give donations. It’s amazing how generous people are.”
Rehearsals for the Christmas concert, “Magical Moments of Christmas,” are going well, Todino said. With so many pieces in the program, it’s a little intense but she said they’ll be ready to put on a beautiful concert on Dec. 15.
The concert will begin at 4 p.m. at Second Avenue Baptist Church located at
The Three Rivers Singers will present “Magical Moments of Christmas” on Saturday, December 15th at 4 p.m. at Second Avenue Baptist Church, 823 E. Second Avenue.
Willingham has chosen a combination of holiday favorites from the sacred and secular genres. The chorus will perform such pieces as “It’s the Holiday Season,” “The Christmas Song,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (Canadian Brass arrangement), “Feliz Navidad” and “Up on the Rooftop” as well as “This Little Babe,” and “The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy.”
As with all the group’s concerts, donations are appreciated and are tax-deductible.