Members of the Gahanna Community Chorus appear as if they're in an aerobics class, performing vocal exercises and body stretches to warm up for rehearsal under the direction of Kate Cremean on Monday evenings at Mifflin Presbyterian Church, 123 Granville St.
Cremean, a teacher at Westerville's Hawthorne Elementary School, said the 67-member group has been a dream come true.
It was launched in late 2019 with a holiday concert, and it has been a huge success, she said.
The first night of the group's second show, Discover Broadway, a dinner concert set for Feb. 22 at the church, was sold out in one day.
The concert, without the dinner, will be performed at 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at Gahanna Lincoln High School, 140 S. Hamilton Road, in the auditorium. It's free and open to the public.
"It's very exciting," Cremean said. "Our entire concert weekend is all Broadway numbers. So we're just having an incredible blast getting these ready."
Cremean said about 20 musicals are represented in the concert, including a medley from "Phantom of the Opera," "West Side Story," "Les Miserables" and "Wicked."
"We're trying to cover all decades of musical theater," she said. "It has been very exciting. Our youngest singer is 16, and our oldest is 80. We have so many decades represented, it's really exciting. Lots of family members get to sing together who normally wouldn't have the chance to do that."
Cremean's sister-in-law, Julie Russell, a Gahanna native, said the chorus is a neat outlet for people who want to be creative but not necessarily be in the spotlight.
"You leave here (practice) so excited, no matter how you came," she said. "I do musical theater all over town, and this is a totally different experience."
Jeff Vellenga of Columbus said it's fun and singing makes him feel happy.
"It gives me a reason to get out of the house once a week," he said. "I found the benefits of singing helpful."
In this show, Vellenga said, he really likes the song "No One is Alone" from "Into the Woods" and "It's A Grand Night for Singing" from "State Fair."
"The music of 'Wicked' is dynamite," he said.
Janetta Davis of Pataskala said the arrangements are fabulous.
"It's Broadway," she said. "What's not to like?"
Davis said Cremean is one of the best directors she has ever worked with.
The chorus is fun to be part of, Char McCasland said.
"There's lots of fun people in it," she said. "Kate is amazing."
Cremean said the group has been a dream of hers after participating in Gahanna's Community Theatre about six years ago.
"I was new to the community theater scene," she said. "And (I was) just was so impressed and had such a great time with adults I had never met before who loved to sing and perform. It was such a special thing that a lot of them came back for year after year."
Cremean said she felt like Gahanna needed something for adults who love to sing and perform.
"And so, I've been trying to think of a way to make this happen for quite a while," she said. "And here we are in our first year. It has been a huge success and just very positive and lots of joy. It has just been awesome."
Cremean said members do not have to be Gahanna residents.
"We'll always primarily perform in Gahanna as a gift back to our community," she said.
In addition to teaching third- through fifth-graders at Hawthorne, she also directs the youth musical offered through Westerville's Parks and Recreation Civic Theatre every spring.
She said the chorus' third performance will be May 24.
"That will be a combination of patriotic music to represent the holiday and honor our veterans, and also a summer kickoff kind of concert," Cremean said.
For more information, go to gahannacommunitychorus.org.