Our Director - Carol Ruth Allen
In the home where I grew up, we sang. While we did the dishes after supper, we sang. On car trips (long or short), at family gatherings, and at church gatherings, we sang. In fact, I can't remember a single more constant thread in my life than vocal music. I thought that EVERYONE sang together. Are you happy? You sing. Are you blue? You sing. Are you inspired or worshiping or in love or lonely...surely you sing!
My fondest memories from high school have to do with the musicals (I'll never forget Bye, Bye Birdie!), and my years in choir. My senior year I sang with the New Jersey All-State Choir. It was a life changing experience. After graduation came a year and a half of travel and study while singing with a band in Europe. Then home to America to study music and voice at Midwestern University in Wichita Falls, Texas. Three and one half years into my formal college studies, I met my husband to be and opted to marry. The ensuing 30 years have included raising 3 wonderful children, Jordan, Rachel, and Victor, and being the wife of that sweet young veterinarian who stole my heart away with his boyish good looks and his unswerving kindness and honesty. (Dr. John, you are still the one!) In these years, we have lived in Lubbock, Texas while John taught at Texas Tech and in Knoxville, TN while he taught at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. At both of these fine schools, I continued my study of voice, as time and child rearing would permit.
Over the years I have sung with many great choirs (and a few small and a few not-so-great.) I have continued to teach voice and lead praise and worship in my churches, I have recorded an album of sacred songs, pursued a solo career as a Christian vocal artist, and taught high school choir for two years.
Now the theme of vocal music is playing perhaps its sweetest song of all in my life. In 1998, during a particularly hot May, the dream of a community chorus for Sulphur Springs pushed its way from "just thinking about it" to "let's do it". I rushed in (where angels fear to tread?) and announced that there would be 4 days of auditions for area singers wishing to be part of a new group. One week later, having heard 117 singers and accepting 100, we were officially underway. First United Methodist Church graciously offered their fellowship hall for our rehearsals, and with little more than our love for singing and a belief that all things are possible with God, we were off and running--er...singing! Since that beginning, we have continued an unbroken series of two scheduled concerts a year, with the occasional special performance offered as the opportunities become available. Choral Society is a highly successful group! Not only because we have some wonderfully gifted singers and musicians, but also because all are generous with their time, loyalty, hard work, and an on going commitment to growth and improvement. It is a great joy to see the singers celebrate as one of their own is chosen for a special solo or some particular recognition. I wish all directors could work with a group like this one.
Speaking on behalf of our singers, our board of directors, our development council, our gifted accompanists, and musicians (All of whom make me look much better than I am), I offer a Bravo! To you for your continuing support of the North East Texas Choral Society. Believing as always that the best is yet to come, I am faithfully yours.
Carol Ruth Allen