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Vocal ensemble to sing this season at Mt. Olive Church in Folsom

Folsom Lake Entertainer
By: Margaret Snider, Telegraph Correspondent
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There is nothing like music to evoke the warm feelings and delights of the holiday season.

The Folsom Gold Vocal Ensemble will fill that role during a special Christmas concert.

The concert will perform at 3 p.m. and at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Folsom.

The group is composed of nine musicians most residing in Folsom, who have dedicated their attention and efforts to music and the arts.

“A lot of us are connected through music in the area, and we just thought it would be fun to get together and sing some new arrangements,” said Fred Weber, the group’s music director, who taught music in schools from elementary to university level, was at Sierra College for 20 years and head of the music department. At the concert, the ensemble will perform renditions of both secular and religious Christmas songs.

Manager Bob Nathan, who conceived the group, said that with the Christmas music they try to evoke the feelings of the past, “the memories that give you chills at the same time that you recall and feel the warmth.”

Besides Weber, who conducts, and manager Nathan, who also sings, the members of the ensemble are:  Joyce Scolnick, Debby Weber, Kathi Davi, Lori Wolfley, Trish Erickson, Jeff Bader, Bob Schamber, and H. Daniel O’Laughlin.

Virtually all of them agree that their music brings pleasure not only to their audiences, but also to themselves.

“Singing brings me pure joy,” said soprano singer Debby Weber.  “When you are singing I think you experience the music on a deeper level.”
Tenor singer Jeff Bader said that he gets “great satisfaction out of knowing that we have put together something that is making an audience smile.”

Wolfley, who sings alto, says that singing gives her confidence and helps to keep her brain sharp.

“It makes my heart happy when I’m sharing this beautiful music with my talented fellow singers and our wonderful audiences,” Wolfley said.

Other singers echo the sentiments, along with the feeling of friendship that builds as a result of the association.

“Some of these folks are old friends,” alto Davi said.  “But most I’ve met since we formed Folsom Gold, and I’ve come to love them and consider them friends. I think that relationship comes out as we sing together.”

Many of the performers have been in local singing groups including the Sacramento Choral Society, the Sierra Community Chorus, and are also experienced in musical theater. Most have been heavily involved with music and performing throughout their lives, as well as being active in other professions.

Nathan is a concert and event emcee; singer, actor, director and producer of local theater, and has performed dozens of leading roles including a portrayal of Groucho Marx.

Some of the members have been associated in the past through also through their children who, said Nathan, tend to be overachievers.

“We’ve had our kids involved in various aspects of our performances, as well, from singing to choreography, to instrumentals, to techie and roadie things,” Nathan said.

The main standards for their group would serve equally well for life as a whole. He said the main criterion was not to have any “drama,” in the sense of creating difficulties.

“And after that,” said Nathan, “Let’s see how good we can get.” 

For tickets or more information about the group, visit mountoliveartscouncil.tix.com or e-mail BobNathan@yahoo.com.