CANTON When his choral group disbanded several years ago, Robert M. DeGraaff realized how much he missed singing.
So the retired St. Lawrence University English professor decided to start a new chamber group and the outcome has been even better than he imagined.
Weve gelled really well together, Mr. DeGraaff said. We have people who are all good musicians and whose voices blend well. There is no one voice that drowns out the others.
The 12-member chorus is called The Any Music Singers, also known as TAMS. The name of the new chorus is a play on The Early Music Singers, which was an SLU group directed by Barry A. Torres before it disbanded.
Eager to reach out to the community, the group is scheduled to hold a free public concert 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Canton Unitarian Universalist Church, 3½ E. Main St.
Were hoping to get a good turnout, Mr. DeGraaff said. Were going to have a variety of a capella music from the 16th century to the present.
Members are sopranos Jennifer Vincent-Barwood, Lenore VanderZee and Camilla Ammirati; altos Sarah Gates and Julie Pomainville; tenors Alan Wioskowski, Christopher Rediehs, Rob Carr and Mr. DeGraaff, who serves as manager, and basses Phillip Shatraw, Juan Ponce-Vazquez and Trevor White.
Performances feature a variety of music by the entire group, as well as splitting off into smaller groups to do some of the music such as a barbershop or doo wop songs.
Since forming in June 2012, the group has performed a fall and a spring concert, including a show performed at Partridge Knoll retirement community. The fall concert was recorded and placed on YouTube.
The first summer the group was directed by Paul Siskind, a SUNY Potsdam Crane School Music professor, who volunteered. That fall, Jeff Francom, another Crane professor, helped the group recruit Jacob Hefele, a Crane student, to serve as director.
The group rehearses from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays in Hale Chapel in SLUs Atwood Hall.
I think were filling a cultural niche, Mr. DeGraaff said, I think its a good community service, and were also having fun singing. Were trying to reach out to the broader public.