The singers may not have hit every note in their solo or duet performances. They may have stumbled over some of the lyrics, or needed some encouragement to get in front of the group and sing. But as they sang, the performer’s faces were radiant and the audience gave them enthusiastic ovations. The unadulterated love for music was on display Friday at Cornerstone Associates, a non-profit that employs adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, where employees were having a dress rehearsal for a concert
The performance will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Black Box Theater at Corvallis High School at 1400 NW Buchanan Ave. The hour long concert is free, open to the public and also will include students in the Corvallis School District’s WINGS program, which helps students with intellectual and developmental disabilities transition to adulthood after completing high school.Since September, the performers in the “Rock the Heart and Soul” concert have been working with Rebecca Fromherz, owner of Corvallis-based From the Heart School of Singing.
Fromherz, who worked as an opera singer in Europe for about a decade, said teaching people to sing is difficult if they don’t have a love for music — but the Cornerstone employees and WINGS students have that love already. “The most important thing about singing is the love and heart for music. Sometimes that is the most challenging thing to teach. ... working with Cornertsone that enthusiasm and love for music is already there. ... it makes it very fun to be their voice coach.” Fromherz said all the singers at the performance got to choose their own songs so they can really love their song. “People should come see it to experience what voice really means at the deepest level,” she said. Singing, Fromherz said, is an expression of love, and the singers in the concert feel the music and love it in a very genuine way. “For the people singing in the show, it brings them to life,” she said. Fromherz said after the concert, Cornerstone will move on to doing woodshop projects with a different artist-in-residence, but she will continue to work with the WINGS program.