Clovis Community Choir promises to get you in the patriotic mood this Friday with a free concert that will recognize veterans and also include gospel favorites.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the patriotic concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Peoples Church.
“It’s just happy music,” said Michelle Coyle, who has been singing with the choir for a year and a half. “It’s patriotic music and we also sing ‘Let There Be Peace On Earth’ — it’s poignant at this time of year. We also try to bring in hundreds of hand-waving flags that the audience waves throughout the whole thing. It’s just so much fun.”
The highlight of the concert is the medley “Salute to the Armed Forces,” a collection of the hymns from each branch of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines.
Veterans and current service members from each branch are asked to stand and sing along; last year they were brought onstage to accompany the choir, said director Ed Cobb.
“There’s not a dry eye in the house when that goes on,” Cobb said. “The men and women who have served or are serving presently really appreciate that ... and to be able to do that is a real thrill for us.”
The concert typically draws about 300 attendees, but organizers expect a much larger crowd this year, as the choir is teaming up with Wilbur Daniels & The Chordsmen.
“They have a huge following,” Coyle said. “It’ll be great for us to have that kind of exposure.”
For the Clovis Community Choir, it’s also paying homage to the concert that started it all. The choir started with about 50 singers as an eight-week Clovis Community Education session in 2014, culminating with the patriotic concert in June, Cobb said.
“It’s what we come back to every year now,” he said.
The group has grown to include about 70 singers. It’s a non-auditioned choir, so anyone who loves to sing can be part of it, Cobb said.
“We recommend that they’re able to sing on pitch and read music, but we’re able to work with everybody,” he said. “This group makes it so that rehearsals every week are something that everyone looks forward to.”
The choir has sung from a huge repertoire, including an Americana concert that featured interesting arrangements of classic American tunes, to its spring concert called “From Hollywood to Broadway,” which featured a collection of movie and show tunes.
“We’ll do classical music, gospel, just a real big variety, which makes our concerts very enjoyable,” Cobb said.
An Evening of Patriotic & Gospel Favorites
Who: Clovis Community Choir along with Wilbur Daniels & The Chordsmen
When: 7 p.m., Friday, June 23
Where: Peoples Church, 7172 N. Cedar Ave, Fresno
How much: Free