Singing Together Again

The Program

Sunday, October 10, 2021, at 3 PM

In Meeting We Are Blessed

Music by Troy Robertson

Text by R. Gatsnahos & John Donne

This piece was written in 2016 for the meeting of the Nairobi Chamber Chorus, directed by Ken Wakia,

and the Festival Singers of Florida, directed by Kevin Fenton 

Don Lee, Djembe

We are met together and in meeting we are blessed.

Peace in coming and in going,

Peace in labor and in rest.

Hold on, dear brother!

Hold on, dear sister!

Hold on to me.

You’re not alone and you never more will be.

I will be with you and I will carry you with me.

Friendship endures and surely we will prove

It’s not ourselves, but our bodies that move.

We Remember Them

Music by Susan LaBarr

Text by Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

This piece was written in 2019 for the Brooklyn Choral Artists (South Africa)

directed by Gerritt Scheepers

Written in loving memory of Hardus and Dalene Scheepers (1962-2017)

At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer;

At the opening of the buds and in rebirth of spring;

At the rising of the sun and at its going down;

We remember them.

At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter;

At the rustling of the leaves and beauty of autumn time;

At the start of the year and when it ends;

We remember them.

As long as we live, they too will live.

When we are weary and in need of strength;

When we are lost and sick at heart;

When we have joy we crave to share;

We remember them.

adapted from Gates of Prayer: A New Union Prayerbook, © Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Turn! Turn! Turn!
(To Everything There Is A Season)

Words from the Book of Ecclesiastes

Adaptation and Music by Pete Seeger

Arranged by Robert DeCormier

To ev’rything there is a season, and a time for ev’ry purpose under heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap,

A time to kill, a time to heal, a time to laugh, a time to weep.

To ev’rything there is a season, and a time for ev’ry purpose under heaven.

A time to build up, a time to break down, a time to dance, a time to mourn.

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.

To ev’rything there is a season, and a time for ev’ry purpose under heaven.

A time of love, a time of hate, a time of war, a time of peace,

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing.

A time to gain, a time to lose, a time to rend, a time to sew,

A time of love, a time of hate, a time of peace. I swear it’s not too late.

To ev’rything there is a season and a time for ev’ry purpose under heaven.

A Garden of My Own

Words & Music by Patricia McKernon Runkle

Arranged by Daniel Kallman

Solo: Amanda Farzad


There’s a place where dreams are gathered.

There’s a soil where seeds are sown.

There’s a light beyond the shadows where truths are known.

In this light I reach for heaven.

In this soil I root my soul.

In this place I have a garden of my own.

Time was, I was up at dawn and eager for the field.

Time was, I was welded to the plow.

Time was, I would work as hard as flesh and bone allow

Till the glory of the harvest was revealed.

These days, I am on my knees with flowers in my hands.

These days, I refuse to plant in rows.

These days, I can feel a seedling tremble as it grows.

And the heartland deep within me understands.

Who knows whether time and quiet faith bring something new.

Who knows, if I learn to improvise.

Who knows if a flower never seen before will rise

And the world will be the richer for its hue.

Big Sky

Words & Music by Seth Houston

When the way is clear, and sunlight shines, we pursue our way.

With nary a fear we follow straight lines, day after blinding day.

But the path gets blocked and the sky turns black, forcing us to pause,

and leave, with shock, our narrow track for one with fewer flaws.

When the sky is blue and grass is green, we seldom check to see

if our pathway through this verdant scene leads toward harmony.

Then danger shakes our selfish minds, we look to the sky,

new lives to make, new paths to find; Listen to her reply:

“Live your lives,” says she, “with keen respect for your brothers of the earth.

To be truly free, you must protect them with majesty and mirth.

The ocean and air, forest, hill and plain, animal in flight,

are in your care, rejoice in the rain, and walk the way of light!”

If You Want to Hold My Hand

Words & Music by Kyle Pederson

Solo: Brenda Pavia

Guitar: Thomas Yackley

“If you want to hold my hand,” said the four year old girl to her four year old friend,

“I’m gonna hold it for as long as I can — maybe forever — if forever never ends.

Would that be okay?”

“If you want to hold my hand,” said the teenage boy to his sweetheart and friend,

“I just might hold it for as long as I can — maybe forever — if forever never ends.

Would that be okay?”

“If you want to hold my hands,” said the bride-to-be to her waiting man,

“I promise I will hold them for as long as I can, and a promise is forever and it 

never ever ends.

Would that be okay?”

“If you want to hold my hand,” said the old, old woman to the old, old man,

“I’ve held your hand for the forever we’ve had, and I’ll keep on holding for as 

long as I can.

Would that be okay?”

Omnia Sol

(Let Your Heart Be Staid)

Words & Music by Z. Randall Stroope

Somewhere far from nowhere, I grew both strong and tall,

Longing to become, but knowing not the path at all.

But the footprints of the winter melted to fields of spring;

One last embrace before I cross the threshold:

To life we sing!

O stay your soul and leave my heart its song,

O stay your hand, the journey may be long.

And when we part and sorrow can’t be sway’d,

Remember when and let your heart be staid.

Omnia sol temperat ansens in remota.

(The sun warms everything, even when I am far away.)

Ama me fideliter, fidem meam nota.

(Love me faithfully, and know that I am faithful.)

Weave the dance and raise the chorus, grieve no more.

Through the strength of Orion find refuge from the shore.

Let courage be your oar, let passion be your sail.

Wisdom and Truth will guide your deep heart’s yearning,

Through all travail.

Sing Gently

Words & Music by Eric Whitacre

This piece was written during the COVID-19 crisis “with the hope that it might give some small measure of comfort for those who need it, and that it might suggest a way of living with one another that is compassionate, gentle, and kind.” – Eric Whitacre

May we sing together, 


May our voice be soft,

May our singing be music for others,

And may it keep others aloft.

Sing gently, always,

Sing gently as one.

May we stand together,


May our voice be strong,

May we hear the singing, always,

And may we always sing along.

Sing gently, always,

Sing gently as one.

Sisi Ni Moja

Words & Music by Jacob Narverud

Don Lee, Djembe

We all laugh, we all cry, we all feel hunger, we all feel pain.

We all love, we all hate, we all hope, and we all dream.

We are one world, one people. 

And we all breathe the same.

A tribe of many languages, a group of many heartaches, 

fighting for peace among the land.

 Heja, heja sisi ni moja.  Heja, heja, we are one.

We all want, we all need, we all seek passion, we all seek joy.

We all bruise, we all scar, we all fail, but learn to thrive.

We are one world, one people.

And we all breathe the same.

In the darkness of the night and in the glory of the morning,

We walk along the path and find our way.

Now we stand here together and lift our hearts in song

To the rhythm of this moment in our lives:

Heja, heja sisi ni moja.  Heja, heja, we are one.

All The Way Home

Music by Sarah Quartel

Text written and inspired by members of the Radcliffe Ladies’ Choir 

as they reflected on their motto, “friendship through singing”

Sing to me comfort, sing to me home,

sing to me friendships I have known.

Sing me a place where I belong,

joyful, with harmonies sing me 

all the way home with a song in my heart.

All the way home brighten my path and carry me on,

all the way home.

There’s a beautiful pow’r in what we bring,

there’s strength in the glorious song we sing.

Easing all troubles, calming all fears,

joyful, with harmonies sing me 

all the way home with a song in my heart.

All the way home brighten my path and carry me on,

all the way home.

Evening brings a shining star,

her ancient anthems from afar.

Silence below, her song in the sky.

Joyful with harmonies sing me

all the way home with a song in my heart.

All the way home brighten my path and carry me on,

all the way home, all the way home.

Arts Partners – Levels of Giving

Friends  $50 to $99 can provide a scholarship to a member or print flyers to advertise our concerts.

Supporters  $100 to $249 can buy an average-priced sheet music selection for 40 to 80 chorus members or pay for a piano tuning.

Donor $250 to $499 can hire a musician or two to accompany the chorus in a future performance.

Benefactor $500 to $999 can provide the church with a  substantial remuneration to cover our use of the church for rehearsals and performances.

Directors’ Circle $1000 or above can help us to reach greater numbers of people with our music through outreach programs.

The Alpharetta Community Chorus is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.  Your donations are tax-deductible.

You may donate through PayPal below.

Director’s Circle

Arts Alpharetta and the City of Alpharetta

Brenda and Lee Friedman


David Anderson

Martha Pedrick

Deborah Seymour

Martha Young



Mary Busman

Cathryn Hale

Dian Lawler-Johnson

Carol Lehan

Vance Loen

Murray and Virginia Mann

Laura Mette



Lydia Messerschmidt

Your generous gifts help make performances of the Alpharetta Community Chorus possible!

Please include your name as you’d like it listed in the program in the special instructions box.

Many companies encourage charitable giving through payroll deductions and matching donations. Check with your Human Resources or CSR department to see if they participate.

donate to Alpharetta Community Chorus

Please consider becoming a financial supporter of our chorus. Families and businesses that donate will be recognized in our programs as Arts Partners.

Members of the chorus contribute financially as well as musically to this venture.  We are artistically and financially committed to bringing excellent music to the Alpharetta community.  With your help we will continue to bring these concerts to the community free of charge.

Alpharetta Community Chorus Personnel


Mary Busman

Amanda Farzad

Cathryn Hale

Lynnita Hughes

Brittany Johnson

Sandra Kraft

Virginia Mann

Brenda Pavia

Shachi Sevak

Donna Shelton

Ruth Slaten

Mckenzie Wortman

Nicole Yackley

Robin Yackley

Marty Young


Marianne Campbell

Shelly Carmichael

Phebe Connors

Carol Donaldson

Chris Fash

Susan Henning

Dian Lawler-Johnson

Carol Lehan

Terri Manley

Lydia Messerschmidt

Laura Mette

Stacey Williams


David Anderson

Steve Bakinow

Dieter Kraft

Hong Taing


William Bivings

Ron Hopper

Vance Loen

Thomas Yackley


Robin Yackley

The Alpharetta Community Chorus is in its ninth season, having started rehearsing in September of 2013.  Under the direction of Thomas and Robin Yackley, the non-auditioned group is open to new membership following each concert.  The chorus rehearses Tuesday evenings from 7 – 9 p.m., with a music reading training session offered from 6:30 – 7 p.m.  Currently, all of our members are fully vaccinated and wear masks in every rehearsal and performance. Visit the website at or contact us at for more information.  The chorus is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Thomas and Robin Yackley, founders of the Alpharetta Community Chorus, are retired Fulton County music educators.  They have a combined teaching experience of 63 years.  Thomas earned a Bachelors degree in music education from Bowling Green State University and a Masters degree from Florida State University in choral conducting.  Robin earned a Bachelors degree from Florida State University and a Masters degree from Georgia State University, both in music education.  Together they have worked with graduate level choral conductors at Georgia State University.

Special thanks to the following Alpharetta Presbyterian Church Personnel for their help in making our chorus rehearsals and performances possible: 

Murray Mann, Audio/Video live stream

Gene Casey, Property Manager

Drew Bowers, Minister of Music

Reverend Ollie Wagner, Pastor

Thanks also to Lee Friedman for audio/video recording