When she sings, Denise Baumann stops worrying about whether she's facing precisely the same direction or holding her music at exactly the same height as the other members of the Clintonville Community Choir.

When she sings, Denise Baumann stops worrying about whether she's facing precisely the same direction or holding her music at exactly the same height as the other members of the Clintonville Community Choir.

A quick glance would enable the rest of the singers to correct any slight errors of positioning, but that's denied to Baumann.

She has been blind since birth. All she has ever been able to see are light and dark and colors. "That's starting to fade," she said last week.

But any concerns about positioning fade for Baumann when it comes time to open her mouth and permit her voice to pour from her throat, in harmony with the others.

"When I sing music, my body breathes, my spirit soars, my heart magnifies and my soul celebrates," she wrote in an e-mail.

Baumann is one of the original members of the Clintonville Community Choir, now in its sixth year. She's also in the C'Ville Songsters, a 10-member ensemble that puts on performances to help raise funds for the overall nonprofit organization.

The members of the choir, under the direction of Tom Maxwell, will put on their summer concert on Sunday, July 10. Part of the North Columbus Civitan Club Park of Roses Summer Concert Series, the performance will take place at 7 p.m. at the Gazebo.

Baumann, 55, who feels she got something of the cold shoulder when she auditioned for the Columbus Symphony Chorus because the conductor worried about her stage presence, was welcomed with open arms by the fledgling community chorus members after her husband, Paul Baumann, read a notice of its formation in the newspaper.

"I think maybe there was some awe and surprise on the part of Tom Maxwell, our conductor," Denise Baumann said.

As much as the harmony, Baumann said that she enjoys the camaraderie of being in the Clintonville Community Choir.

"I think that there is a huge passion that brings us together in the first place," she said in an interview. "Then there's the thrill of working collectively to have superb pitch, intonation, expressiveness. Or try to.

"We have to be moved by the music."

Baumann has always been moved by music. She can remember swinging on a swing as a young girl and singing aloud songs she had memorized.

The native of Cincinnati said that she has gotten many different diagnoses over the years to explain her blindness. The most credible, she feels, is that it's a result of a problem when she was born, probably a cerebral hemorrhage.

Baumann's parents died in a car crash when she was 11 months old, so she was never able to ask them about her birth.

Although her grandparents could not afford voice lessons when she was a little girl, Baumann sang in choirs all throughout school and, at 14, she learned to play a few chords on a guitar in order to be able to sing folk music in the Catholic church she attended.

At the age of 5, Baumann said that her grandparents brought her to Columbus to potentially enroll her in the Ohio School for the Blind, but even at that young age she was not comfortable with being primarily around others who could not see.

"It wasn't a reality that I could accept," she said. "I just felt I needed to live the way other people did."

Baumann majored in social work at Ohio State University, where she sang in the University Chorus.

After a varied career in social work, including stints at the Columbus Developmental Center and the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center, with time off to be at home with son Brendan, now 25, Baumann decided to make life and career changes. Today, she is a licensed massage therapist working out of an office on North High Street not far from her home.

After being in all kinds of singing groups, Baumann said that she was delighted when husband Paul, who recently retired from the U.S. Geological Survey and was an adjunct associate professor in OSU's School of Natural Resources and the Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, told her of the Clintonville group that was forming.

"Oh, my gosh, I get to serve my own community at last," she recalled thinking.

Although Denise Baumann learned to read Braille music at one time, she has to memorize the songs performed by the Clintonville Community Choir; its repertoire would be impossible to find in the language that enables the blind to read.

"What I find most challenging is how I need to learn the music," Baumann said. "I have learned to listen to everything around me, and take (from other singers) what I need to plug in and to plug out."

Baumann loved to sing as a child, and it's something she still loves to do.

"It takes you to a depth you never thought was possible to make a sound you didn't think you could achieve," she said.