Men’s chorus starts year with new director
The Staples Area Men’s Chorus invites all men in the area and region to meet their new director at new member night Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Staples-Motley High School choir room.
Rehearsal begins at 8:30 p.m. but men are encouraged to come around 8 p.m. to socialize and get some music in order prior to rehearsal. For those who choose to continue with the group, rehearsals are Wednesdays, September through May, from 8:30-10 p.m.
Rob Freelove was named the new director of the chorus in August. He succeeds Steve Hoemberg, director for over six years, who resigned to pursue other interests.
“Steve’s leadership and understanding of music will be greatly missed by everyone, community and chorus members,” said Jerry Reck, past president of the men’s chorus board of directors. “He brought a great gift to us. He not only brought his knowledge of music to the Staples Area Men’s Chorus, he also brought an energy to us to do better on everything we did.”
Freelove has been teaching band, choir and classroom music in public schools for nearly 20 years, the last 16 in Pillager Public Schools.
For the last six years he has been the artistic director and conductor of the Staples Area Women’s Chorus and the assistant director for baritone/bass of the Staples Area Men’s Chorus.
“In the hiring process we as a board felt that this is a time of change,” Reck said. “Rob will bring change to the group. We hope from his leadership we will continue to grow in new directions.”
Chorus members are all ages, teens to retirees, from all walks of life, and come from Staples, Pillager, Verndale, Clarissa, Wadena, Browerville, Eagle Bend, Long Prairie, Grey Eagle, Lincoln, Leader and more.
The chorus prides itself in its diverse programming of both traditional male chorus literate as well as newer and more creative offerings. The group is accompanied by Sandy Paskewitz.
Their first event will be Real Men Sing! on Oct. 1. Other events include the annual Community Christmas Concert and the “Afterglow” concert in the spring, among other appearances.
For tickets, concert schedules, information about the group, and a sample of their singing, visit them online at www.staplesmen.org.