Wilderness Road Chorus, a women’s barbershop-style singing organization in the New River Valley founded in 1986, presented its annual Singer of the Year award to two leaders this year, Lavelva Stevens, director, and Jean Shock, assistant director.
“The chorus was able to rehearse and continue singing and follow the pandemic health recommendations because of the work of these leaders,” said Gail Gulbenkian, president of the chorus.
“They worked to use what was possible—Zoom technology, outdoor rehearsals, masking,” she said, “and the singers were able to thrive. And this year do some performances.”
Stevens, who lives in Pulaski, is music director at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Wytheville. She joined Wilderness Road in 1991 and sang with several quartets. She became director in fall 2005.
Shock teaches at the Tall Oaks Montessori School and sings in other area choruses. She joined wilderness Road Chorus in 1995 and has been assistant director for several years.
Barbershop harmony is, along with jazz, one of only two styles of music developed in the United States. The four-part a cappella harmony chords are specific and produce a sound barber-shoppers call “ringing the chord.”
Wilderness Road Chorus takes its name from the road that goes through the communities in which the members live. It welcomes women, 16 years of age and older to learn and perform the style.
More information is on the chorus website www.wildernessroadchorus.org.
Submitted by Wilderness Road Chorus