The high bar for holiday programs in Pauls Valley may be going up a few notches with one planned for later this year that could include participants from as far away as the east coast.
Singers from all over Garvin County are already invited to come be a part of the first ever performance by the newly formed nonprofit Garvin County Choral Society and Sinfonietta.
In case you’re wondering, sinfonietta simply means to bring together chorus singers with a small orchestra.
All of that will be on display for a public program now being lined up Nov. 14 at the First Presbyterian Church in Pauls Valley.
Adding to that could be an international flavor with the possibility of singers coming from Paris, France for a performance that could come next spring in the Valley.
At the center of the plan is Jack Bowman – a world traveler with a true talent for music and a new path in life that’s led him to Pauls Valley and a job as music director at the local Presbyterian church.
“I love Pauls Valley,” Bowman said about his newfound love for the community.
“It’s the only place where you can walk down the street and ask people which direction is north and you’ll get as many answers as the number of people you talk to. It’s the only town that I know of where the founder’s last name is a first name and his first name is a last name,” he said, referring to Smith Paul.
“When I arrived here people would come up to me and say we don’t have a choral society in Pauls Valley.”
That’s when Bowman and a handful of others went to work to form this brand new local group.
To really kick things off in grand style Bowman and the group is planning to recruit some professional chamber orchestra members from the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and a whole lot of singers from all over the county to come together for the fall performance.
“We want people to have the opportunity to sing in one of the great choral master works in history,” he said about the holiday program Handel Messiah.
“We’re inviting the people of Garvin County to come sing and you don’t even have to audition. If you arrive and you’re having a good time, you stay.
“In that group we’re inviting high school students. I would really like high school students to have this opportunity. High school students never get the opportunity to sing something like this. They will have a great time and be inspired.”
Rehearsals are already planned starting at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the local Presbyterian church.
Singers will also be invited to come from East Central University in Ada, Cameron University in Lawton and even as far away as Salisbury, Connecticut.
Bowman is the founder of the Salisbury Sinfonietta and Chorus and artistic director working with singers and musicians in Paris, France.
That’s just a taste of Bowman’s background as he’s conducted professional and volunteer choirs and orchestras across the U.S and in 11 European countries.
“Folks that puts people into hotels here in Pauls Valley,” Bowman said about the November performance. “My goal is to fill those hotels for our town. That’s just the start for what we can do in Pauls Valley.”
He says the plan for next spring is to bring French singers all the way over to Pauls Valley for a local performance before taking it on the road to maybe New York City and then back to Paris.
“I asked them to come to Pauls Valley,” he said about those singers from Paris. “They asked me if that’s on a map. If they bring 72 people we’ll put them with our chorus here.
“What I want is for you to tell everybody about us. We want singers. If you like to sing come join us. Once you get people together they’re inspired. I’ve done this several times and it works.”
The choral society is also looking to recruit memberships as well as donors.