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Marking a milestone

Oldham County Singers
seek more members

The group has been performing
in the area for a decade

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

(May 2008) – When Angela Fitzpatrick discovered a community chorus in Oldham County, she realized there was hidden potential within the group. Time has proved her correct, and the Oldham County Signers are still going strong after a decade of performing.

Angela Fitzpatrick

Photo provided

Group conductor Angela Fitzpatrick
(left) leads the singers at a recent
performance as Jill Murphy
“signs” the words.

In January 2000, Fitzpatrick became the group’s conductor, realizing the opportunity for a wonderful experience lay ahead of her. “To witness growth in musicality and the process of individuals joining together to become a unified performing ensemble can be most gratifying,” said Fitzpatrick.
The Oldham County Singers will be performing May 26 for the annual Memorial Day performance on the Oldham County Courthouse Lawn. The program, which will have speakers and patriotic songs, will begin at 10 a.m. at the soldiers’ monument.
Anne and Don Helton formed the Oldham County Singers under the name of The Little Colonel Singers in spring 1998, having no idea the chorus would become so popular.
When the Heltons moved to Pewee Valley in 1990, “Our church did not have a choir, and I knew there were no choirs in the county,” said Don Helton. “Anne loves to sing,” he said of his wife. Helton viewed starting a community chorus as “her opportunity to sing.”
Helton said he was interested in establishing the chorus but then sought new ideas and people to keep it going. “Because she loves to sing, Angela has brought it to a certain high standard,” said Helton.
Fitzpatrick brings lots of expertise to the chorus. She also directs the choir for John Knox Church on Westport Road. “She sets high standards for herself and the choirs under her direction,” said soprano and original member Debbie DePaull.
The chorus began with 12 members and has since grown to 20. “We are presently looking for some new tenors, baritones and basses to join us,” said DePaull.
Those interested in joining the chorus do not have to be residents of Oldham County. Even though “the majority of our performances are in this county, we do have occasion to sing in other locations when invited,” DePaull said.
The group has performed at Oldham County Day, Oldham County Showcase, Light Up La Grange, concerts at the John Black Community Center, Yew Dell Gardens and for the Lion’s Club and La Grange Rotary Club.
Performances for local community events “establishes the fact that Oldham County has its own Community Choral Signing Group that can represent the county, not only locally but through the entire area,” said Fitzpatrick.
The chorus is unique in that it has a sign language interpreter, Jill Murphy, who joins them for concerts and special performances. “She adds so much to our performances for the hearing impaired. She is a joy and an inspiration to watch,” said DePaull.
“She makes the music more beautiful,” said Helton. The love and dedication of the members have kept the chorus together, he said.
Fitzpatrick has a wide variety of music to select from when choosing numbers for performances. Classical, sacred, spiritual, contemporary, madrigals, Broadway and holiday favorites are included on the list.
The Oldham County Singers is planning an Anniversary Concert this fall to showcase their different styles of music, said DePaull.
Planned for September, a Gala Concert will celebrate the Oldham County Singers’ 10 years together. Special guest performers and returning members will join the present chorus for a “signature piece” with an After-Glow reception to follow, said Fitzpatrick.
The chorus is always looking for new members as “Folks move away or leave for a variety of reasons,” said Fitzpatrick. A love of singing and several hours of dedicated rehearsals each Monday evening at the Oldham County Arts Center on Floydsburg Road is all that is required of members.
The chorus supports itself with monthly dues, community sponsors, concert ticket sales and an annual spring flower fundraiser, in which they team up with Deibel’s Greenhouse. “Money raised has allowed us to purchase music, a new keyboard, and sound system,” said DePaull.

• Rehearsals are Monday nights from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at Buecker Hall at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center in Crestwood. For more information, contact Debbie DePaull at (502) 241-6493.

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