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Memory Lane Chorus invites new members

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM The Memory Lane Chorus of the Agawam Senior Center is currently performing holiday tunes and Christmas jingles and invites members of the community of all ages and backgrounds to come and join them on Tuesday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. at the Senior Center to participate in songs and laughter.

"We are what you call bathroom-singers," Chorus Director Darcy Davis, a retired Agawam High School Band Director said to The Reminder. "You don't have to be a good singer to sing with us," he added.

The Memory Lane Chorus, however, puts on quite a melodious tune as the group that includes more than 20 members gathered on Nov. 21 to rehearse such tunes as, "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "Christmas Chopsticks."

The rehearsal of seasonal music will culminate in the Annual Holiday Show to be on Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. free to the public.

Once the Holiday Show is over the Chorus will not stop, as they will resume rehearsals for, "Songs of the Gilded Age," a show that will be presented in March.

Last spring the ambitious group assisted by Pianist Robert Coelln performed "Encore Cabaret" to the public.

This included performances of songs such as, "The Sound of Music" and 'What I Did for Love."

"I sing whatever they need me to," Inez Daniels, a singer since she was 12 and current member of the Chorus said.

"We have a lot of fun," Davis said. "There is therapy in laughter."

The Memory Lane Chorus of the Senior Center was formed in 1997 for the Intergenerational Program that was presented that year between Agawam High School students and Senior Citizens of the city. At that time "Songs of World War II" was their show performed at the High School with the students.

"Schools are so hampered with testing that they haven't had time for us in their curriculum," Davis said. "Since students can only attend now in after school time we have not had much student involvement. We are still open to any [students] that might come," Davis added.

This March 2007 presentation for the Memory Lane Chorus will include songs such as, "The Sidewalks of New York," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Hello! My Baby" and more.

The Memory lane Chorus also participates in smaller shows throughout the year in the region. In February, Davis will have a display of sheet music from the very early 1900's on display at the Public Library.

If anyone young and young at heart would like to perform with the Memory Lane Chorus for one or more of their shows then arrive on any Tuesday.

Davis retired from the Agawam High School in 1990 after over 30 years of service. In addition to the Chorus, Davis participates as the fourth trumpeter in a 16-piece band called the Marksman Drum and Bugle Corps.

"I taught them [Marksman Drum and Bugle Corps] in the 50's and the 60's then they disbanded after Vietnam. They reunited in 89'-90' and that is when I retired and was able to join," Davis said.