By Dr. Charles Bensonhaver
Conductor Nat Malcolm has busied his singers this spring with concerts at the Seabrook Island Club and the Bishop Gadsden retirement community. This fall, the Choraliers will kick of their season with an appearance at “The Joe” in downtown Charleston, singing the National Anthem before the Rome Braves/Charleston Riverdogs game. There are plans in the woks to repeat this performance before a College of Charleston basketball game this season. The group will also be performing several Christmas concerts this year. So far, they are scheduled to sing at Bishop Gadsden Christmas program, the Kiawah and Seabrook tree lightings, and at the Exchange Club. Next year, the Choraliers are scheduled to sing on May 27, for the Memorial Day program at the Sunset Pavilion.
Nat, co-owner of Indigo Books in Freshfields Village with his wife Linda, is in his first year as conductor. As a music major graduate of Florida State University, Nat has great enthusiasm and is skilled in producing a quality sound from our talented singers. The Island Choraliers is primarily for fun, but sounding great – at least most of the time – multiplies that joy.
Also in her first year is our accompanist, Sue Ingram, who also serves as assistant conductor. Sue is terrific and has become cherished by all.
In the Atlantic Room on April 13, 2009, the chorus performed in a concert/dinner format. The musical fare for the first half was traditional, but after the break, the group changed into colorful shirts for a retrospective glimpse into the sixties. There were echoes of the Beach Boys with “I Get Around” and “In My Room”, and the audience was taken back to where the lion sleeps “In the Jungle”. The love songs “Softly as I Leave You” and “When I Fall in Love” were both performed beautifully.
On April 30, the group traveled to Bishop Gadsden and did the same concert with the addition of professional tenor, Wayne French. The audience seemed to especially enjoy the Wiffenpoof Song and the Brian Wilson numbers. The concert hall was filled and the Choraliers received a standing ovation. Several residents formerly from Seabrook Island were in attendance.
The Island Choraliers has an even more challenging and entertaining program planned for next year. If some of you readers would like to sing for fun, join us. The all-male group begins rehearsals for their Christmas concerts on September 15 at 2:30pm at the Church of Our Saviour on Betsy Kerrison Blvd. Contact Chuck Bensonhaver on Seabrook Island at 768-8261 or Nat Malcolm at Indigo Books for more information.