Musical community joins ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein Sing!’

Jessie Barth leads a musical number at Reynolds Mansion in Bellefonte at the most recent “Rodgers and Hammerstein Sing!”
Jessie Barth leads a musical number at Reynolds Mansion in Bellefonte at the most recent “Rodgers and Hammerstein Sing!” Photo provided

Former local high school choral director Jessie Barth and local percussionist Carol Lindsay previously conducted “Rodgers and Hammerstein Sing!” events, most recently at the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Bellefonte. This time around, the sing will feature members of the State College music community in a setting suited for fabulous songs and glorious voices.

Barth and Lindsay’s next singing event will be at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, which seats 700. This year’s event will feature vocal talents of the State College Choral Society, State High Thespians and amateur vocalists from the region, including Mayor Elizabeth Goreham.

Previous local events have been much more intimate, with a maximum of 40 participants nestled in the Reynolds Mansion living room. But for this sing, Barth and Lindsay needed a larger space to accommodate the number of people performing.

“This event will be different in the number of participants, as this is the largest venue we have ever been in,” Lindsay said. “I can’t wait to hear the sounds that will emanate from all the wonderful folks that will attend.”

Readings of Hammerstein’s correspondences will be interspersed with the songs.

“This event will be a once-in-a-lifetime community musical masterpiece that we create together during two hours of happiness,” Barth said.

Though it may seem more family-oriented singing with a small group in the warmth of a home, Lindsay said she has been looking forward to this wonderful opportunity to expand and acquire more exposure for the sings.

“I love the Reynolds Mansion with its beauty, history and intimacy,” she said. “It really creates the feeling of family singing around the piano. On the other hand, the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center will feel like an event, and the sheer volume of sound will be incredible. We will all be immersed in the beauty of the words and melodies.”

“The Sing! gatherings evoke lots of happy memories and laughter as well as occasional tears, no matter the size of the venue,” Barth said. “Usually, everyone sings, but occasionally, someone just comes to listen and that’s fine, too. But consistently, we leave feeling healthier and happier than when we arrived. There’s something about people singing songs together that they truly love. There’s no power like it in the world.”