We here in Imperial County are having an especially beautiful spring, and have an opportunity to enjoy wonderful music. Music and flowers just go together.
My favorite site for roses is the Imperial Valley College rose garden leading up to the administration building. It has been my pleasure to watch the rose garden for nearly half a century since moving back here in 1965. It is well worth a drive to visit the beautifully landscaped IVC campus at Aten Road and Highway 111.
The orchid trees are putting forth gorgeous blossoms throughout the county. The ones I see most regularly are in Holt Park, in Holtville. City residents are also fortunate to enjoy the many tubs filled with flowers in front of the Chamber of Commerce.
The women of the Holtville Woman’s Club will have beautiful floral samples of many of the Valley’s blooms at today’s annual flower show and plant and bake sale at noon. The clubhouse is at Sixth Street and Fern Avenue. Remember to wear an apron, and bring a friend.
Last month a large crowd had the pleasure of hearing “Forever Plaid,” at the Jimmie Cannon Theater for the Performing Arts at Southwest High School. It was an hour and a half of pure fun as we listened to beloved popular hits of the 1950s. Some of these included “Catch a Falling Star,” “Chain Gang,” “Day-O,” “Heart and Soul,” “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” “Magic Moments,” “Papa Loves to Mambo,” “Sh Boom,” and “Three Coins in the Fountain.”
The humorous quartet kept the audience laughing with its antics. They were accompanied by a gifted pianist and bass player. A huge thanks to the Imperial Valley University Partnership for selecting this program. My daughter Mary said there is a woman’s group out that is similar to “Forever Plaid.” I believe they are called “The Marvelous Wonderettes.” I hope we get to see them soon.
Friday evening was another special treat for music lovers at the First United Methodist Church in El Centro. The Imperial Valley Master Chorale under the gifted direction of Denny Lang, and accompanied by Donna Marlin, charmed us with a Broadway Pops program. The smiling faces of the choir, their obvious love of the music, and their beautifully blended voices made for a perfect evening. The program opened with all the favorite songs of the “Sound of Music.” The audience was invited to sing a verse of “Edelweiss,” and sing they did, with gusto. Other selections were from “Brigadoon,” “My Fair Lady,” “Wonderful Town,” and “West Side Story.”
Members singing solos and duets included Marilyn Pyle, Jordan Reckmann, Ruth Smith, Denny Lang, Deborah and Joan Thornburg, Mike Cox, Aaron Estrada, Susan Hawk, Basil Melnyk, Jackie Keltz, Jody Cox, Ben Brock, Leif Burns and Susan Botta Sills.
Ann Mitchell Horne, president of the Imperial Valley Choral Society, has been with the group for 10 years. She has a long history of music. She said she thinks it is in the genes.
Dorothy Armstrong, a former elementary and junior high school music teacher, was a very close friend of her mother. She was almost like a mother to her.
“When Nelson Eddy did a concert here at the old Wilson School the place was packed,” she said. “That night I sat on Dorothy’s lap and she whispered to me throughout the concert. She told me how his program was organized, and in what language he was singing. The intimacy of that was so powerful in my life.”
Ann taught school for a total of 20 years. She also directed the Presbyterian Church choir for 20 years in addition to directing various other choirs and touring with them. She thoroughly enjoys the variety of the music the master chorale sings.
The IVMC meets weekly at Imperial Valley College. The group ranges from 40 to 60 singers, and includes some winter visitors. The Master Chorale’s next performance will be at 7 p.m., May 24, at the Pioneers Museum.
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