Beloved a capella group to perform Wednesday, May 23, Ah Haa School for the Arts
How to make your heart sing? Heartbeat, an eight woman a cappella group, performs a host of fun tunes, Wednesday, May 23, at the Ah Haa School for the Arts. Included in the upbeat, intimate evening are folk songs, pop songs, love songs, and even songs from Bulgaria and Africa. The performance is free, although donations are gratefully accepted.
The group, singing together since 1994, has lots of surprises in store. The women are pulling out some old audience favorites. “And we have lots of new music, too, including many songs people will know from the radio,” says member Ulli Sir Jesse.
Sir Jesse was one of the original members and founders of the group, and this will be her farewell concert: after several decades in Telluride, the beloved musician will be returning to Germany.
Heartbeat has a storied history in Telluride. The group performed at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and the Telluride Jazz Celebration, toured to the Blue Stage Theater in Paonia, the Art Center in Moab, and the Sand Island Bluegrass Festival in Bluff, Utah.
“But some of our favorite concerts have been the impromptu ones, such as the post office, the bike path tunnel, the stairwell at the elementary school and even standing in the Gunnison River singing to boaters,” says member Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer. “I think that part of what makes our concerts so much fun is that we have a lot of energy and spontaneity every time we perform. We’re up there having a great time making music.”
Since its inception, Heartbeat has been leaderless, “which is to say that we have eight leaders,” says member Donna Burd Fernald. “We all are responsible for finding music, for directing, for setting rehearsals and for doing what needs to be done. We all bring different talents to the group.”
If you can’t make the concert, ask someone who can to pick up Heartbeat’s first CD, “Take Heart.” The CD, available at the concert, features many Heartbeat originals, plus some of their favorite songs from the past decade.
The present group includes Telluride women Suzan Beraza, Nancy DeCastro, Donna Burd Fernald, Judith Kohin, Rhonda Muckerman, Ulli Sir Jesse, Debbie Stevens, and Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer.