Join Chamber Singers to boost health, Spirits

I come from a musical family. My mother and father both played piano and sang, my sister played oboe and flute and sang, as do I. My son was less traditional but he plays dynamite electric guitar. Not being surrounded by my DNA family I now look to my other musical family, this one way bigger, Chamber Singers of Iowa City. Our extended world family comprises 28.5 million people who regularly sing in one of the 240,000 chorus groups, so says the web article by the Gotham Rock Choir, formed in 2009 and devoted to performing pop, rock and soul. They tell us that singing improves your immune system as well as your mood. Chamber Singers rehearses at 7 pm on Monday nights. Most of us drag our bodies to Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and come out 2 and ½ hours later wide awake and mentally flying. Why choral singing specifically, as opposed to belting opera arias in the privacy of your shower? The most important ties between singing and happiness are social ones.


Our fearless director, David Puderbaugh, emailed the current singers, “On Nov. 17, we plan to perform the sequel to “Spring” and “Summer” from Haydn’s THE SEASONS: “Fall” and “Winter.” The success of our May performance was such that I don’t think we can leave our audience hanging. Also, I’m not sure if the oratorio has ever been done “seasonally” before, so it’s a unique offering!” This work takes a huge orchestra and a large number of singers. Now that you know how healthy and happy choral singing is, your chance to audition for this fine musical family happens on Aug. 5 and 6. Please contact Barb Schanbacher at 351-3998 or email her at to set up a 10 minute time slot. Check out our website at  If you need more encouragement Markham Heid in “Men’s Heath” magazine says that those engaged in a choir program reported improved health from the social bonds formed during singing by triggering the release of endorphins, those lovely feel-good hormones. Heid goes on, “Classical Music helps you focus. Brain scans conducted by Stanford University show classical music—especially complex, continually changing symphonies like those from Baroque composers like Bach and Handel—actually help your mind focus and sort out information. Cognitive stumble (love that phrase)—when your mind expects to hear something, but is surprised by an unanticipated chord or harmony—helps engage and sharpen brain regions responsible for attention and anticipation.”

Loren Horton, past board member, loyal audience and husband of our beloved alto, Carol says, “Chamber Singers gives me opportunities to hear music that I have never heard before, and that no other local group performs.  Examples include the variety of Estonian music that CSIC have done, as well as the interesting theme programs with the Bach family compositions and the wonderful Haydn “Seasons”.  The overall quality of the singing and the interesting programming make every concert an enjoyable experience, and a learning experience.” 

If you are looking for a fulfilling musical family to join, please call to audition for either Aug. 5 or 6. Your immune system will thank you and so will we.

Joyce Marner sings with Chamber Singers of Iowa City and plays flute in her other musical family, New Horizons Band.