After a year of dormancy due to COVID-19, members of an Aiken community choir are ready to get back on track. But first, they need a director.
The Aiken Singers have announced that Diane Haslam, the band’s longtime founder and director, has returned to her home country of England, leaving a vacancy for a new music director to lead the adult choir.
Haslam worked with the Aiken Singers from the start, moving the choir from a small neighborhood club after dinner to a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with 50-60 members. As both Music Director and Artistic Director, Haslam has been involved in concert programming, fundraising, and helping individual members improve.
Ken Hofstetter, chairman of the board of Aiken Singers, said the group “was looking for someone who could kind of put themselves in that shoes and keep us on this path.”
The role is a paid part-time position, with salary provided primarily through membership fees.
With no audition required, members of the Aiken Singers come together to have fun and share the joy of singing, Hofstetter said.
âWe sing everything from spirituals and church music, to rock’n’roll and opera. We do the whole spectrum,â said Hofstetter.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Aiken Singers met weekly for 10 months a year, with a two-month break in the summer.
The group has given two major performances each year in the spring and winter, as well as multiple outreach performances in retirement communities, nursing homes and other venues.
The Aiken Singers hope to return to this schedule by late summer or early fall, said soprano singer and former board chair Judy Justice.
The Aiken Singers plan to provide more details on the role of Music Director, including a formal job announcement and job description. For more information, visit aikensingers.org.
Hofstetter and Justice stressed that the choir is not a group of trained professionals, so the new director will need to be prepared to work with adults at all skill levels.
“We really need someone who understands how to take people who have little or no musical training, so that we can bond with other singers who have that ability, and not feel left out or whatever. whatever else, âthe judge said. noted.
Justice said it hopes the former members will return after a year of pandemic shutdown. The Aiken Singers also welcome new members to the organization.
âIt’s just a lot of fun,â Justice said. “And we see it as a community outreach service organization that we provide music service to others.”