Choir happenings: Surprises at the first practice

Pam Leszar of the Redmond Community Choir (submitted photo)

It began when I saw the announcement in the summer class schedule of Central Oregon Community College’s Continuing Education catalog:

“NEW! Redmond Community Choir — Coming Fall 2019”

Was anyone interested in “an opportunity for adult amateur singers to participate in a fun choral singing experience?” No auditions were required, and all singing levels were welcome.

According to the catalog, Choir Director Ken Piarulli and his wife Jude moved from upstate New York to Redmond in 2018. Ken brought with him a passion for music backed by a master of science degree in music. He’d performed professionally as a jazz pianist, sung in choral groups and symphonic choirs, and was an experienced choir director.

Here was a professional musician of some stature who seemed willing to work with whoever showed up. Wow. It sounded almost too good to be true. But if it was true, it was a rare opportunity to be part of something pretty special.

I qualified under “all singing levels.” Other than singing in church, my only other experience was as a singing waitress at the Rheinlander restaurant many years ago.

And I certainly met the “adult” requirement, in fact was on the down side of the bell curve in that department. (I actually considered contacting Ken and asking if I was too old to participate.)

I was a little concerned about the concert performance at the end of the term. The idea of singing in a choir sounded wonderful, but the prospect of ... gulp ... performing was rather intimidating.

So it was with a certain amount of fear and trembling that I clicked on the link and signed up.

— Pam Leszar is a member of the newly formed Redmond Community Choir. She writes occasional updates for the Spokesman on her experience with the singing group. Contact her at

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