Local choir Cullman Women Sing make successful return to the stage with performance: ‘Take Me To Heaven’

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The Cullman Women Sing choir pictured along with Director Laura Doss (2nd row, far left) and accompanist Kristi Warden (Front row, far left) (Ashlyn Grey for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman Women Sing Choir performed its first concert in two years on Tuesday evening at the Seventh Street Baptist Church. The choir is composed of women, 18 years and older, who gather together for, as their Facebook page states, “the joy of singing.”

Led by Artistic Director, Laura Doss serves as adjunct professor at Samford University and taught vocal and choral music at the Alabama School of Fine Arts for more than two decades. A graduate of Samford University and the University of Montevallo, Laura holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Master of Education. Laura is a native of Cullman and resides in Good Hope with her husband, Morrow.

The choir was also accompanied by pianist Kristi Warden, who is a graduate of Samford University and The University of North Texas. Kristi also holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music in Organ Performance. In addition, Wes Mattox played percussion alongside the choir in its closing number.

Special guest Evan Curtis played the French horn and accompanied the choir in its opening piece, “Alleluia” from “Songs of Faith” and later, played in conjunction with pianist Kristi Warden for a beautiful rendition of ‘Oh Danny Boy’.

Although Director Doss shared that three choir members and the cellist for the group were unfortunately unable to participate, the ladies of Cullman Women Sing came together to sing their hearts out and put on the best concert possible. The ladies were also rewarded by the presence of special guest Jonathan Rodgers, who was responsible for the beautiful arrangement of Shenandoah that the choir performed towards the end of evening.

“Laura has been here since 2015 and I have been a part of it since she got here. She is just absolutely wonderful. We love it. We started out with three altos, three second sopranos and three sopranos. It has grown but we also have a big turnover so it kind of comes and goes,” shared choir member Dianne Knight.

“For those that do want to join the group, we have the best time. Laura teaches you how to sing the right way and it’s not hard. She makes it so fun. She picks out the perfect songs,” Knight continued. “We have so many characters in our group. It’s like a women’s night together. She is the best teacher and we have done things from nights like this, all the way to a Requiem. It really is the best.”

The talented women who make up the Cullman Women Sing Choir are Karen Andrews, Marquita Boike, Patti Bostick, Lori Bowden, Meghen Casey, Lydia Corry, Susan Eddleman, Meg Glover, Janna Henderson, Vickie Hicks, Shelley Hodo, Julia James, Susan Johnson, Dianne Knight, Debra Laslie, Leah Lewis, Susan McBrayer, Holly McLeod, Kristina Ostberg, Linda Schgier, Sheila Sizemore, Becky Tankersley, and Joan von Lehe.

Additional numbers played throughout the evening were “Sing Me To Heaven” by Daniel E. Gawthrop, “Come to Me” by Dan Forrest, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” by David P. Rossow, “Down by the River” sang by Laura Doss, “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain” and “Skip to My Lou” by Frank Ferko, “The Erie Canal” arranged by Clifton J. Noble, Jr., and “Billy and Ming Do the Bebop Thing” by Sunny Wilkinson and Ron Newman.

The choir also offered special thanks to sponsors: CPC Multi-Specialty Group – B. Gregory Bostick, M.D., Johnson Chriopractic, Kernel Kullman, People’s Bank of Alabama and Linda & Bill Schgier.

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