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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Ensemble gives public chance to join in

  • Sound of the Heartland women’s a cappella ensemble will present “Sound Off A Cappella” at 6 p.m. Saturday in the McPherson Community Center.
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  • Sound of the Heartland women’s a cappella ensemble will present “Sound Off A Cappella” at 6 p.m. Saturday in the McPherson Community Center.
    This isn’t just another performance in their schedule. They’ve invited public participation, be it from women, men, children or all of the above.
    The group has been rehearsing on Thursdays since Aug. 22 at the First Christian Church in preparation, said  Rachel Newell, Sound of the Heartland president and public relations chairwoman.
    “We’re a group that normally rehearses in Newton for regional reasons,” Newell said, “but McPherson is in our area, so we’ve been inviting women here to come sing with us.”
    Originally formed in 1971 in Valley Center, Sound of the Heartland moved to Newton in 2004 and took on its current name. A regional group, most rehearsals have traditionally been in Newton.
    In 2008, the ensemble won the Sweet Adelines Region seven championship, and the group has competed at the international level in Hawaii.
    In the 2010 Sweet Adelines Region seven competition, the ensemble brought home awards for small chorus, audience appreciation, and the Ruby Pike Award, which recognizes the small chorus with the highest sound score in the competition.
    Sweet Adelines International is a worldwide organization of women singers committed to advancing the musical art form of barbershop harmony through education, competition and performance.
    Sound of the Heartland is directed by LaDonna Cheatham of McPherson, a veteran director in Sweet Adelines International who earned her Master Director status in 2008.
    “People who sing are happy,” Cheatham said. “We should be creating a world where one is allowed and encouraged to sing. Sound of the Heartland Ensemble would like to give women an opportunity to do that.”
    Newell said that the “Sound Off A Cappella” event will make a perfect opportunity for people to try it out.
    “A Cappella is intimidating to a lot of people,” Newell said. “We’re opening it up to the public and want to hear music from fellow community members. We want everyone to have a good time.”
    Sound of the Heartland also is offering a free six-week membership to new members.
    Those interested can get more information on the group and its performances by contacting Mary Jane Waltner at 620-202-0329 or by visiting the ensemble’s website at www.soundoftheheartland.com.

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