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Sounds of Newton Singers echo through halls after hours

By Courtney Foster
Published: December 2010

What happens when you take a bunch of adults who love to sing, a variety of intriguing musical scores, and everyone’s favorite choral director, Mr. Youngman’€and mix them all together? The Newton Singers.
The group meets once a week from 7:15 to 8:45 on Tuesdays in the chorus room. Their concert will be on the first Tuesday in June at South, and it’s open to the public.
Despite balancing busy lives, many adults still find time to sing in the Newton Singers.
Judy Pava, a soprano and a teacher at Brown Middle School, was first involved in the choir nine years ago, but had to stop participating for a while due to conflicts in her schedule. She decided to rejoin when her son, Max, was a South student.
“Max enjoyed working with Ben [Youngman] and the whole camaraderie, Pava said. “This pushed me to join again.
Youngman notes that situations such as this are not uncommon amongst members of the choir.
“The chorus is comprised of professionals, some retired…this ain’t their first rodeo. Many are parents of South students or alumni.
Pava also joined the choir in hopes of augmenting her musical skills and knowledge.
“I have sung, Pava said. “But mostly show music and not much choral music. I also wanted to get back to sight reading. She added, “It’s kind of a use-it-or-lose-it thing, and I guess I lost it.
She has been more than satisfied with the musical experience the group has offered. “I love the music selection and variety, especially the madrigal pieces and those which are more obscure, Pava said.
Though many adults joined simply for a chance to sing, the group has offered them something much deeper: a sense of community.
Jane, for example, a retiree of six years, decided to join the choir because she “loves to sing, but she soon grew to appreciate the members and atmosphere of the group as well.
“I like meeting the people, and I like the director, she said. “We get along well¦we laugh every week.
Pava agreed. “I love Youngman; that’s probably the number one reason why I like it here, she said.
“It’s a very warm, friendly environment, and a lot of fun, Pava said. “I wasn’t specifically coming looking for a lot of fun¦but it’s a lot of fun!
The director shares the same sentiments.
“They are a very kind and spirited group, Youngman said.
This dynamic is fueled by the fact that every participant in the group is there for a similar reason, so working with each other to achieve harmony is not difficult.
“Everybody is here to work on music, to dissect it, Pava said. “Everyone works together collaboratively, and is here for their love of music, to sing.
“They come together to explore music and their voices, Youngman said. “They try very hard.
The effort that the many adults of the Newton Singers put forth has been essential to the group’s success and growth.
Amidst the darkness of the night outdoors, the chorus room remains lit each Tuesday night as the Newton Singers learn, proving that South fosters education even after students are long gone.
“It’s amazing all the different backgrounds, Jane said.
“Some singers are from Newton, some from other places. Still, we’re all connected by the common alley of loving to sing.
“It goes to show, Youngman said, “that no matter who you are or what you do, music can still inspire and enlighten your life.

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