OCC – What it means to me

By Deborah Minsky

I first joined this irreplaceable group in 2007, the season of Italian Opera Choruses, and it changed my life  – I must admit, though, that signing in on my very first night of rehearsal then was a bit of a challenge, just to get through the slightly snobby  attitude displayed by a few of the longer-term members – I thought, “Oh my gosh – this feels like junior high.” But I sucked it up, calmed myself and persisted. I’m so very glad I stayed, because I quickly found my comfort level and an ocean of new and old friends.  Think Betty Kelly, an OCC icon to many of us – back when I was about 9 years old, I had sung with her in the St Mary of the Harbor choir.  (Along with my sisters, my dad, and a pair of very enthusiastic sopranos who were life-long townies.)  I discovered also that many of the volunteers with whom I worked at the Highland House Museum were part of the group as well.

Soon I found myself falling in love (platonically) with virtually the entire Basso section; especially a certain sweet super-singer who used to wear a kilt whenever he soloed.)  And I especially bonded with my fellow altos.  As geographically diverse as we are – spread out across the Cape and even off-Cape – this group epitomizes the beauty of getting together for a common purpose.  (By the way, the afore-mentioned elitism is long gone.  Our current and most recent sign-in members are always super friendly, cordial, and helpful.)

Whether we are doing Bach, the Beatles, or even the Lion King, OCC has proven many times over that singing is excellent for our health and well-being.  Whatever the chosen repertoire, I will follow wherever Allison leads us.  I’d even sing the phone book under her direction, if she so chose.  But I’d rather she consider selections from Leonard Cohen.