Sun. Dec 4th, 2022

Nation-western favorites and people ballads, a little bit of bluegrass, some pop and some nostalgia-evoking Beatles numbers had been all a part of a latest rehearsal by the Village String Band for a live performance Nov. 15 at Clubhouse 5.

Guitars and ukuleles, bass, piano, fiddle, banjo, some keyboards and drums had been within the combine, and singers added eclectic touches.

Alan Levin, left, Lee Otterholt, Mark Hochberg and Michael Pontecorvo of the Laguna Woods Village String Band.
(Courtesy of Debbie Byrne)

Paul Lambert, Melanie Delgado and Sharone Rosen sing with the Laguna Woods Village String Band.
(Courtesy of Debbie Byrne)

Members of the Laguna Woods Village String Band follow open air throughout the pandemic shutdown.
(Courtesy of Debbie Byrne)

The Laguna Woods Village String Band members play a wide range of devices, together with guitar, ukulels, bass, piano, fiddle, banjo, keyboards and drums, and there are singers as nicely. The band performs Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Clubhouse 5.
(Courtesy of Debbie Byrne)

Judging by the lineup, the band plans to please an ever wider-ranging viewers.

“Musically, we’ve got numerous selection, from the Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Do You Imagine in Magic’ to the Beatles’ ‘In My Life’ to Harry Belafonte’s ‘Island within the Solar,’ and songs by Hank Williams,” mentioned guitarist Debbie Byrne, who joined the String Band in 2016. “Folks stroll by once we rehearse (in Clubhouse 1 Artwork Room) and cease and pay attention. It’s numerous enjoyable.”

The roughly 30-year-old band additionally has a large age vary, and the musicians have various talent ranges.

The band consists of greater than 20 musicians, of their 50s to their 80s. They embody professionals who play in different teams – the Woods Combo and RetroFits, Rock of Ages and Bluegrass Outlaws – alongside intermediate lovers. There are additionally relative learners – so long as they’ll sustain with the band, they’re in.

Enthusiasm is the glue that binds the musicians, and everybody will get to chime in and assist one another over the tough spots. All are free to counsel new music or songs, which the group then votes on.

“It’s a democratic course of,” mentioned guitarist Debbie Smith-Shank.

The String Band normally performs annually, within the spring, however this yr there’s a second efficiency, scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 15, at midday in Clubhouse 5. Doorways open at 11:30 a.m. Admission is $10. Deliver your individual meals and beverage.

The band isn’t only a Village membership however a part of the Saddleback Emeritus music program. Emeritus teacher Alan Levin, a bass and guitar participant who performs within the Woods Combo, leads the String Band. His goal is to get his college students/band members concert-ready.

“I take pleasure in all people study and develop,” he mentioned. His personal musical preferences lean towards Sixties music — Beatles, Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, Monkeys and others who outlined that decade, he mentioned.

String Band President Sharone Rosen performs guitar and banjo and sings, and that’s simply the tip of her iceberg. She’s been a synagogue cantor for 30 years, and he or she additionally is aware of tips on how to yodel.

“I’ve enjoyable enjoying music with different individuals – it’s music that I don’t play wherever else,” Rosen mentioned.

“I’ve been classically educated and took voice in center college. In school I majored in musical theater, and after school I grew to become all in favour of liturgical music,” she mentioned.

Rosen’s profession additionally included a 30-year stint as a radio DJ enjoying nation, rock and classical music in addition to reporting on visitors. In her 40s, she earned a doctorate in chiropractic.

Alongside together with her husband, pianist Mark Hochberg, Rosen additionally has a present on Village TV known as “Residence With the Hochbergs,” wherein the couple showcase their love of various genres of music.

Rosen’s newest musical endeavor entails an all-female string band known as Feisty Girls, a quintet that includes a violinist, bass participant and three guitars.

“I needed one thing enjoyable and attention-grabbing. We began rehearsing earlier than COVID, and now are simply getting began,” she mentioned.

Add to all this, Rosen additionally acts in “Tales From the Woods,” a cleaning soap opera on Village TV that she co-writes.

Along with his spouse already within the String Band, and he and Levin each within the Woods Combo, Mark Hochberg figured becoming a member of the string group was a given. He’s been enjoying piano since age 5, he mentioned, however he performs largely by ear, reasonably than studying music.

“With the String Band, I’ve three or 4 chords and, once I hear a track, I can largely play it,” he mentioned.

Smith-Shank describes herself like Byrne as “an previous guitar-playing hippie.”

“I’ve been enjoying guitar for 50 years however had different jobs, and life took over,” she mentioned.

A former arts administrator and visible arts professor at Northern Illinois College and Ohio State College, Smith-Shank moved to the Village after she retired since her mother and father had lived right here and her sister lived close by in Aliso Viejo. Nowadays, Smith-Shank teaches acrylic portray at Clubhouse 4.

“I joined the Village String Band to observe a path that I put apart to pursue my profession,” she mentioned. “The second I walked into the door, that was my prize.”

She praised fellow band members for being prepared to assist her and rejoiced in enjoying acquainted songs.

“It’s so good for well being and our pleasure, and we get higher on a regular basis,” she mentioned.

For details about the Village String Band, contact Debbie Byrne at [email protected] gmail.com or 949-610-9842.

By Admin

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