Throw Back Thursday: The Culver Choraleers on vinyl - 55 years ago

By: 
Jeff Kenney
Citizen editor

The Culver High School singing group The Culver Choraleers this seven-song "EP" recorded in April, 1959 (if any readers have a copy of the record to loan in order to make digital recordings, contact the editor).

From the back cover: Over three years ago sixteen students from the C. H. S. choir met in the music building with their director, Philip Shields, to read through some popular vocal music "just for kicks." Out of this informal "get-to-gether" was born the Culver Choraleers. Actually it wasn't that easy.

"Why not add a string bass and drums to fill out the rhythm section?" Fine - the school already owned these instruments for dance band - no problem. "How about music? ... risers? ... uniforms?"

Thanks to the cooperation of our principal and trustee we were granted permission to use money from the Music Fund for this equipment, and since that time our group has been entirely self-supporting, through fees charged for performances. Rehearsal time? . . . well, we enjoy singing so much we're willing to rehearse on our own time before school begins in the morning! Proud? . .. sure we are, but also humble. We realize we owe a deep debt of gratitude to many people for our success. Our parents are sometimes called upon to provide taxi service so we may attend rehearsal or find a way home late at night after our return from a performance.

Many good people in Culver and Union Township have been instrumental in finding outstanding bookings for us -- the International Convention of Lions Clubs at Chicago, Norman Beatty Hospital at Westville, District Eastern Star in Culver, District Lions Conventions at Wabash and Crawfordsville, to name but a few. The State Exchange Bank of Culver, in a typical gesture of good will provided us with new sport coats, ties, and dresses. The Culver Lions "footed the hill" for our Chicago performance. How many organizations have we omitted? Too many - We still remain and hope to remain an extra-curricular activity.

Our director is pretty cranky when it comes to our academic subjects. We study on the bus and while we're waiting to perform. But our experiences in the Choraleers are ones that we'll never forget the trip to Chicago, the 8:00 a.m. rehearsals, the calisthenics to wake up, the time the bus broke down on our trip to Valparaiso, the bumpy school bus rides, Charlie's impromptu dance at Lions club, etc., etc ....

Some of our alumni should certainly be mentioned for their faithful service. They too are a part of this record, even though their voices are not heard on it. Karen Hesgarcl, Janet Zechiel, Tom and Bill Ott, Tom Cultice, Barbara Rust, Virginia Reed, Bob Taylor, Tommye Lou Glaze, Elaine Jackson, Eileen Overmyer - their long hours of rehearsal and advise was invaluable.

PERSONNEL - Sopranos: Betty Kose, Kerry Spahr, Rochelle Good, Carol Heiser. Altos: Sandra Furnas, Cathy Overmyer, Linda Gibbons, Margo Overmyer. Tenors: Jack Kinney, Larry Norman, Jim Hall, Tom Curtis. Basses: Bob Kennedy, Stan Curtis, Don Hand, Tom Boswell. Piano: Lana Berger. Bass: Charles Hardin. Drums: Tom 'Valker. Property Managers: Mike Fitterling, Dave Washburn, Pete Ott. Director: Philip Shields.

Recorded for MAP Records, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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