The Norfolk Men’s Chorus is coming up on its 30 year anniversary. And throughout most of that nearly 30 years, its members have taken the time to help Norfolk Area Good Neighbors.
The singers are putting on their annual Christmas concert this Sunday at the Johnny Carson Theatre at 3 p.m. Proceeds from ticket sales, which cost $5 in advance or $6 at the door Sunday, will be given as a donation to the Good Neighbors.
Tickets can be purchased from individual chorus members as well as at area businesses, including the Abbey Christian Store, Companion Animal Veterinary Clinic and Lou’s Thrifty Way.
Ron Lofgren, the director of the chorus, said he is proud that the chorus gives to charity each year.
“(The chorus) decided many years ago to give back each year,” Lofgren said. “And I’m proud that we’re able to donate to a good cause. Each of our members take responsibility in helping with that.”
This year’s concert is called “This Little Babe,” a reference to a song about the newborn Jesus. Lofgren said that song — along with many traditional Christmas songs will be performed — and part of the show will allow the audience to sing along.
“We’ll have some familiar songs that people will recognize and can sing along to, and some other fun songs that people may be less familiar with,” Lofgren said. “It’ll be a fun, family-friendly event.”
Lofgren, a retired music teacher originally from rural Kansas, has been directing the Norfolk Men’s Chorus for several years now. He has been directing choirs and choruses since he was in college.
Lofgren said he was originally inspired to be a musician because of two people: his grandfather and Leonard Bernstein, the American conductor who lead the Young People’s Concerts, a popular TV show about classical music in the late 1950s and 1960s.
He said what makes the Norfolk Men’s Chorus special is how the group reflects its motto: “sing for fun.”
“This is a group that’s open to anyone. We don’t hold auditions or tryouts,” Lofgren said. We have a wide variety of talent that comes together. Everyone who comes in, we all enjoy singing and singing for fun.”
Lofgren said that when it comes to the Christmas show and other performances, preparation is key.
“Some members may be inexperienced, don’t the songs or can’t even read music,” Lofgren said.
But with practice and rehearsals — which ramp up as the concert gets closer — overcome those challenges.
“The special thing is seeing everyone improve as we practice, and it all comes together,” Lofgren said.