Creswell, Scene & Heard

Making a joyful noise …Choir helped Creswell ‘Pack the House’

On Senior Night, the Creswell Community Singers, directed by Mary Ellen Yost, perform the National Anthem in front of a packed house before the start of the CHS girls’ basketball Senior Night game against Santiam Christian. Gini Davis/The Chronicle

CRESWELL – The community responded with gusto to a call to ”Pack the House,” filling the high school gym Feb. 19 for girls and boys basketball games, fete players on Senior Night, and to celebrate the Bulldogs boys’ league championship.
The evening began with the Creswell Community Singers (CCS), conducted by Mary Ellen Yost, performing ”The Star-Spangled Banner” at center court before tipoff of the 6 p.m. girls’ game.
CHS athletic director Brandon Standridge invited the Singers to perform as a part of the ”Pack the House” promotion for Senior Night – which included honoring boys basketball, girls basketball and winter cheer seniors before tipoff of the 7:30 p.m. boys game.
”The choir was very enthusiastic and appreciative of the opportunity to sing for Creswell,” Yost said. ”We have been rehearsing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ as part of our regular rehearsals since before Christmas” – but, without accompanist Keri Davis, ”it was a challenge since we needed to sing a cappella.”
Despite that challenge, the Singers – sporting red-and-black Bulldogs colors – carried off its basketball court debut with aplomb.
”We had a great time being part of ‘Pack the House,’ and I think everyone was pleased with how it went,” Yost said. ”We felt we were well-received by the crowd, and personally, it was a thrill for me to lead the Singers on this special night. I realized once again that performing music is great, and I came away feeling that the performance brought the group closer together.”
Yost added that although the girls did not win (the boys later won their game), it was fun to cheer them on, hear the CHS Pep Band play, and take in the high-octane atmosphere.
”I loved seeing the students enjoying the event and playing music for the teams and crowd,” she said.
CCS formed in fall 2016, with seven people at its first rehearsal. Now, in its fourth season, there are 35 (mostly retired) singers – although some could not help ”Pack the House” because of illness or prior commitments.
While preparing for its Spring Concert – scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on May 1 at Creswell Church of Christ – CCS will rehearse at the church at 1 p.m. every Wednesday (except Spring Break) throughout March and April.
Concert special guests will be The Men from S.U.R.F., a four-piece band that performs 1960s ”fun in the sun” surf and hot-rod hits – including the Beach Boys music they will perform with CCS.
”They have members from Cottage Grove, Eugene and Springfield, and one of the guitarists, Marty Neff, is a Creswell High School graduate and a former student of mine,” Yost said. ”That makes it extra special.”
CCS is open to all adults; there are no auditions, and new members are welcome (contact Yost at [email protected] or 541-510-3355).



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