Those That Play Together…
I love Valentine’s Day. What better time to plant a few kisses on your partner? It’s a day of reaffirmed love and discovering your partner/spouse isn’t so bad after all. And candy!!! My wife just received a box of chocolates which, unless she hides it quickly, I will eat in its entirety. All of that is why I’m so happy to chronicle these people on this day of celebration.
So it’s not Valentine’s Day. My bad. I still have to write the story so, here’s a tale about eight couples who are thankful (there—now we’re in the right month) to meet every Monday night to sing in the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus.
Ronnie Smith/Anita Gossett. After being long-time members of CAMP Rehoboth, they decided to join the chorus. Music and singing together have always been an important part of their relationship. They recently celebrated their 15th anniversary by getting married. Rather than writing and saying their vows, they played a duet for the occasion.
They are in the chorus to make music and to connect their voices to those of a group of 90-plus LGBTQ (and ally) singers. They’re led by the very talented Doug Yetter, who brings his musical expertise and humor to every rehearsal.
Carl Carotozzolo/Jerry Pulaski. They’re the newest members. Carl is 78, Jerry is 82; they’ve been married for 13 years and together for 53 years (!!!). They moved here in April 2016.
This is their first year in the chorus and they joined because they both love music and have always enjoyed singing. In fact, Jerry once sang with Trini Lopez in a Chicago night club in the 60s!
They belonged to CAMP Rehoboth, then the pandemic hit, and now they are rejoining.
Vicki Allen/Jay Allen. Vicki is a physical therapist; Jay is a chef who invented Crust & Craft. Wait…Crust and Craft? I love Crust and Craft!!! Ooops…I suppose I should have asked about the chorus….
Gail Hecky/Jeri Berc. Gail and Jeri are in the chorus because they love to sing. When Gail moved to Rehoboth Beach in 2012, she heard that sopranos were needed for a singing group called CAMP Chorus. So she joined! That’s how she met Jeri.
Each rehearsal session with Doug is an inspiring combination of fascinating historical information and unexpected witticisms.
Jeri was invited to join the chorus in its first year while singing at a Hanukkah party. Gail and Jeri became more than friends and their marriage is now in its third year. They are long-time supporters of Camp Rehoboth.
Jeanie Geist/Karen Gantz. These two love to sing. After being here for a few months, they became members of CAMP Rehoboth and the Metropolitan Community Church of Rehoboth. Karen’s first concert was just before the chorus closed down for COVID. Jeanie followed Karen, but she missed her first concert because of the pandemic. “The best part of chorus is getting to sing with so many talented musicians and a director who absolutely loves what he does.”
Rev. Dr. Vicki Gordy-Stith/Rev. Dr. Bo Gordy-Stith. Both are pastors at Epworth United Methodist Church. They met at the Naval Academy as midshipmen when the music director handed them music and said, “You’re singing this duet in 20 minutes. Go learn it. Oh…Vicki meet Bo, Bo meet Vicki.”
Doug Yetter also serves as Epworth’s Minister of Music. As a way to support and get to know him, they attended his concert in 2020. Loving what they heard, they asked if they could join the chorus.
They value how CAMP Rehoboth has transformed our “village” of Delaware for the better.
Rev. Elder Diane Fisher/Rev. Dr. Kharma Amos. Unfortunately, they are not singing with the chorus this year (both COVID and other health issues). But they hope to return next year.
Kharma has been an ordained minister and professional queer for over 19 years. Diane has been an ordained pastor for 30 years. They moved to Rehoboth Beach in late 2016. They were both looking for a community chorus to join, and were thrilled to find one that was progressive, CAMP-y, and LGBTQ+ inclusive. They are both members of CAMP Rehoboth and avid supporters of their mission.
Irene Fick/Ed Fick. I shouldn’t be including this pair, because Ed is no longer a part of the chorus. But I’m crazy about them, so there.
Ed and Irene met back in 1998 through their love of music. What she didn’t know was that Ed was all about classical music, and she was Broadway, rock, and disco (yes, she admits it). She is still in the chorus, but Ed left two years ago to become her most devoted groupie.
So basically, each of these chorus couples love music, the conductor, CAMP Rehoboth, and the CAMP Rehoboth Chorus. Wow, this column kinda wrote itself!
Even if it’s not time for extra Valentine’s kisses, I have to confide that I am married to one gorgeous chorus alto. Sally, if you’re reading this, thanks, hon. Just don’t expect more chocolates on the real Valentine’s Day. ▼
Michael Gilles is a playwright, actor, and director from Milton, and a regular contributor to Letters from CAMP Rehoboth.