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Lockport Chorale makes music an important part of the holiday season

The Lockport Chorale wrapped up the winter season with spiritual holiday flair during a Christmas Concert performance in First English Lutheran Church earlier this month.

During the event, the chorale performed holiday and spiritual songs such as "Mary Did You Know?" and "The Christmas Song."

The chorale consists of about 30 soprano, alto, tenor and bass vocalists. Chorale members range in age from 20 to 80 and sing show tunes, spiritual or sacred songs, light jazz and pop music.

The chorale frequently performs with instrumental bands that include the Lockport Community Band. Vocalists are from areas including Albion, Lockport, Clarence and Williamsville.

"It's a friendly and cordial group. We're a very, very tight-knit community, very supportive of each other," said Patricia McCone, one of the chorale directors.

McCone directs the chorale along with David Bondrow, who directed "Grease" earlier this year at the Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda.

McCone has been directing the chorale since its founder and director, Charles Green, stepped down in 2001. He directed the chorale well into his late 80s and died this past summer. He was 90.

"He was a very dedicated musician," said Judy Speranca, his daughter.

Green was a teacher at Starpoint High School and retired in 1972. In the mid-1980s, he and his wife went to Sarasota, Fla., where he directed the Bay Chorale, a 90-voice chorale, his daughter said. Like her father, Speranca was a teacher. She's a retired Lockport teacher and has been a member of the chorale since 1999.

"Once I retired, I knew I had time and wanted to do it," Speranca said, "and Dad was still directing it. It was wonderful. It was nice singing under his direction. He was down to business. He was a lot of fun, too, a lot of laughs. He was a perfectionist. He had expectations that we usually met. He had high standards."

For more information on how to join the Lockport Chorale, call 778-9817.

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