Voices of Naples - Best Naples, FL Community Choir

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The multi-talented Doug Renfroe, our director, and me to the right of his hand in the dark hair.
The multi-talented Doug Renfroe, our director, and me to the right of his hand in the dark hair. | Source
Naples United Church of Christ in Naples, FL where VON rehearses and performs.
Naples United Church of Christ in Naples, FL where VON rehearses and performs. | Source
The talented LaVon Mattson our piano accompianist.
The talented LaVon Mattson our piano accompianist. | Source

Voices of Naples singing Handel's "Messiah"

Voices of Naples


So, you are visiting Naples, FL and you've been to the beach all week, shopping, eating etc. and you need something different to do on a Sunday afternoon? If it is in the month of November/December, February, or March here is a special treat for you! What? you ask. Check the newspaper, because you don't want to miss the singing of Naples' premiere community choir, Voices of Naples.

I joined Voices of Naples (VON) two years ago, and it has been a whirlwind of beautiful music and fun. The members come from Naples itself and from all over the United States during the winter season and we have a great time practicing and singing together. We practice throughout each year from October to April.These people are serious about their music, though, and most members have some sort of musical background and can read music. I studied piano for 12 years growing up and, I can read music, even though this is the first community choir for which I've sung. We practice on Monday evenings from 7-9 p.m at the Naples United Church of Christ, at the corner of Seagate Dr. and Crayton Rd. in Naples, We truly make beautiful music, and isn't that what life is all about?

Our artistic director is Douglas Renfroe, the nationally and internationally acclaimed bass-baritone. He has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is wonderful -- talented, intelligent, funny, warm, very creative and just plain amazing. He has taken this choir to new heights in this past year, coaxing the best sound and performance from us, and we are all eagerly looking forward to this coming year of performances. Our accompanist on piano is the lovely LaVon Mattson, organist at the East Naples United Methodist Church. We can't sing without her talents.

The best part of VON, is that we "sing for scholarships". That is our main mission and I am so happy to be associated with this choir for that reason. Since the inception of the choir in 2002, it has raised and awarded more than $18,000 for scholarships for high school seniors who will study vocal music in college or at university. One of our scholarship recepients is presently singing in a Broadway show in New York even as I write this article. So I feel a sense of giving back to the Naples community in a small way and, at the same time, a sense of helping future music students to learn their craft and achieve their musical goals.

I have learned so much from this group of talented people and have really grown as a singer in just one season with them. My performance skills have skyrocketed because of the quality of the artistic director, accompanist, and the other talented singers. We mentor and help one another to become better singers. And it truly is a labor of love. I've had to practice on my own outside of Monday night choir practice to keep up with my colleagues and artistic director, so it is not just show up for choir practice and perform. I must study the music and practice it a little everyday to keep up with the quality of the choir, but I love it. The "Messiah" is the program that convinced me I wanted to sing with this choir. When they performed this, it sent tingles up my spine it was so beautiful. This November will be the first time in my life singing "The Messiah" and I have already been practicing during our hiatus. I can't wait to be part of the performance.

Besides singing the "Messiah", we also present themed concerts and sing many songs from Broadway shows. Last year we sang a medley of songs from "Les Miserables", "HMS Pinafore" and some other Broadway shows. We featured some of our choir members in solo spots, and they were quite good. I haven't tried a solo, yet, but my confidence in singing is rising, so someday a solo may come my way.

This year, the 2012 - 2013 concert year, we will be performing our 10th Annual "Sing-Along Messiah" in November," Home for the Holidays" in December, " A Celebration of Song" in February, and "Then Years of Reflection, " in March.

We also offer the "The Voices", a smaller ensemble, which sings at different venues in the Naples, FL area. Their anchor song and performance is "Pacem," and you will never hear it done more beautifully than with our ensemble. They perform at our choir performances, and this year have two performances of their own. "Holiday Favorites" in December and "Live at the Promenade", in April.

The choir has its 10th anniversary this year and to celebrate this event VON went on a European singing tour of Prague, the Chech Republic, Budapest, Hungary, and a few other European venues from June 8-18, 2012. It was a great success with VON being honored and loved at each venue.

This June 2013, VON toured and performed in Montreal and Quebec, Canada again being honored and loved at each venue.

For more information about our concerts and to purchase tickets please visit our website at www.voicesofnaples.org.

2014 - 2015 Voices of Naples Concert Schedule


Twelfth Annual Sing-Along Messiah

Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 3 pm

Tickets : $15 in advance * $20 at the door

Naples United Church of Christ

5200 Crayton Road

Naples, FL 34103


Home for the Holidays

Monday, December 8 at 7 pm

Emmanuel Lutheran Church

777 Mooring Line Drive

Naples, FL 34102

Free will offering


Music to Touch the Heart

Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 3 pm

St. Leo's Catholic Church, The Parish Life Center

28290 Beaumont Road

Bonita Springs, FL

Free will offering


Music to Touch the Heart

Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 3 pm

Tickets: $20 in advance * $25 at the door

2014 - 15 Scholarship winner to perform

Naples United Church of Christ

5200 Crayton Road

Naples, FL 34103


Music to Touch the Heart

March 15, 2015 at 3 pm

2014 - 15 Scholarship winner to perform

East Naples United Methodist Church

2701 Airport Road South (near the Courthouse)

Naples, FL

Free will offering


For tickets call: (239) 455 - 2582

ellenrindfleisch@gmail.com

photo of original music for "Messiah"

George Handel's original handwritten musical sheet for the "Messiah."
George Handel's original handwritten musical sheet for the "Messiah." | Source

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7 comments

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, that sounds wonderful, I have often wished I could join something like that, I love to sing, and what a great way to meet other people with the same interests, lovely!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 5 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Nell Rose: Yes, this is something new for me. I've never sung before in a choir and I am really enjoying it. Thanks for reading and sharing.


soniaharrisojones 3 years ago

Your choir sounds wonderful! I joined a choir on a Princess world cruise two years ago, and I had a ball. It was so much fun, in fact, that I wrote a novel about it.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Handel originally wrote the Messiah as an Easter offering. It was first heard on April 13, 1742 in Dublin at the Musick Hall. The Messiah itself offers technical challenges for both orchestra and voices.

Thank you for sharing this Suzette. Enjoyed, voted up and will share. Audrey


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 2 years ago from Taos, NM Author

Hi Audrey: Yes, I do know that the Messiah was originally written for Easter; in fact, it is still performed at Easter time during most of Europe. It is only in the U.S. that we perform it during the Christmas season. I love the music and I have been always amazed that Handel wrote this in just a few weeks. What talent! I am so pleased that you enjoyed reading this and thanks for your visit, Audrey.


Reginald Thomas profile image

Reginald Thomas 14 months ago from Connecticut

Very nice article. I salute you and the group for putting out such a great piece on community music. I wish more groups would do this. Please keep up the great work and have fun!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 13 months ago from Taos, NM Author

Reginald: Thanks so much for reading this and I am glad you enjoyed it. Yes, singing for VON is one of the highlights of my life. It is so pleasing to bring music to others.

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