There's no business like show business, like no business I know.
Everything about it is appealing; everything the traffic will allow!
Nowhere could you get that happy feeling when you are stealing that extra bow!
The roots of East Lincoln Community Chorus go way back to the year 2002. A group of singers from Unity Presbyterian Church sang in a production of Handel’s Messiah with a Lincolnton group. Soon after, they decided the Denver area needed a chorus of its own and ELCC was born! The founding members were Jeff and Pat Coffey, Joe Lampron and Bill Gronning, and the first performance was The Messiah in December 2003. Singers were recruited by word of mouth around the community but mainly through local church choirs. ELCC’s first show was directed by Brandon Carter and included fifty-nine singers, with three professional soloists.
The next show was John Rutter’s Requiem, directed by Vista Rainey. It wasn’t long before the chorus started tackling secular music as well, for both our Christmas and summer shows. Our performances are held at either Unity Presbyterian Church or Denver United Methodist Church, as both can accommodate the chorus’ rehearsal, performance, and audio/visual needs.
Our chorus members are volunteers and perform simply for the love of music. Over the years, the chorus has had six different directors, including the two previously mentioned. Other past directors were Carol Clark, Janeen Dishman, and Dustin Stamey. Currently, we are led by the wonderful and talented Cheryl Barker, who has directed more than half of the shows (17 of 29) performed by ELCC. We have also had several accompanists and other musicians at times but for most shows, we have been fortunate to have the amazing pianist Jeff Perks, who has accompanied ELCC for a record number of 25 shows – that’s almost every show since we began. Quite honestly, the chorus couldn’t do it without them.
Where does ELCC get the money to pay all our show-related expenses? It’s magic, of course! All the funds needed for sheet music, program printing, banners, etc. as well as for the Director, Accompanist and any other musicians is provided by patrons, sponsors and the “Magic Box.” In 2007, the chorus performed a show called the Magic of Christmas, and on another occasion performed a summer show called Cinemagic. At one of these shows, a clear Lucite box was placed in the lobby for donations and dubbed the Magic Box. The name stuck, and the box is still in use today at all our shows. It has been a kind of magic that so many people have supported us, and their generous donations have always been enough.
ELCC is guided by a board of volunteers, comprised entirely of chorus members, and a rotating list of presidents, vice presidents and other members have served through the years. In addition, we have several committees that assist in different areas, such as music “wrangling,” publicity and decorations. Many singers have rotated in and out of the chorus over the years, although we have several veterans that have been in almost every show.
It was a little difficult in the beginning, recruiting singers and getting the word out about our performances. Our audiences were modest in the early years, but now it’s standing room only for almost every show! Of course, COVID shut us down in 2020 but we returned for Christmas 2021 and are now as strong as ever! It takes a lot of commitment to show up every Tuesday night for rehearsals and to clear the calendar for three shows twice each year but it’s worth it. There’s no feeling like being part of such a wonderful group of singers and seeing the smiles on the audiences’ faces at the end of a performance. It keeps us coming back show after show!