THE SUNCOAST STATESMEN
AFTER OUR 2021-2022 SEASON!

The chorus gatherings are smaller since Easter, now that many of our members have returned to their Northern Homes for the Summer.  Those of us staying here in Florida will soldier on over the Summer months without regular rehearsals.  We were able to work together over the month of April and May with those who enjoy singing and fellowship of Barbershop in the Choir Room at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church in Punta Gorda.  We had our last rehearsal on Tuesday, May 24th and decided to break for the Summer.  We'll reconvene as a chorus on September 6th, the first Tuesday after Labor Day.  In the meantime, our Director and Board Members may be reaching out to our membership for help with planning for the upcoming year. 
As early as the Summer of 2021, we had informal gatherings outdoors, thanks to a member’s spacious boathouse and vaccinated members wishing to just get together and sing, socially distanced with masks on. We resumed regular rehearsals under our new director, Duane Fenn, in the Fall of 2021, with masks on, socially distanced while encouraging members to only attend if they felt well, were comfortable in group settings and had been fully vaccinated.
We had planned on performing our annual show in 2022, but with the prolonged effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we faced the reality that we could not prepare for the show in just a few weeks in 2022 when most Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
So, we have planned for a new Annual Show at Burnt Store Presbyterian Church on March 19, 2023. Showtime will again be planned for 4:00 PM.  Plans for the selection of Show Music are underway.
The Chorus continues to honor requests from patrons for special events that we’d be happy to bid on. I received a request from a lady in Massachusetts who wanted us to sing “Happy Birthday” to her Grandmother, here in Port Charlotte, FL. Usually requests are for a more substantial performance (30 minutes or so), but her requirements were made clear. After working with a few volunteer chorus members, we formed a quartet and were able to pull off a rendition of “Happy Birthday” with a couple of other songs to make her birthday party with fellow New Englanders here in Port Charlotte a wonderful surprise gift from a loving granddaughter.
While our members have largely survived the pandemic itself, we were saddened by the loss of four of our members due to illness. First, Stu Pease, our outstanding tenor, and then Frank Gracie, a strong lead voice throughout the years, passed within weeks of each other. Both were also members of the same quartet, Seems Like Old Times. Then, two basses, Jerry Smith and Herb Liechty, one of the most beloved members of the organization passed away.
However, the darkest days are now behind us. While Ray Danley, our stalwart director over the past few years, has retired, Duane Fenn, who became our assistant director in the fall of 2019, has moved to the front of the stage, and we shouldn’t miss a beat. The chapter honored Ray Danley with induction into the Suncoast Statesmen Hall of Fame in a ceremony on April 23rd.
We wrap up our Evening rehearsals from 7:00-9:15 PM on Tuesdays the end of April, we’ll continue to meet Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 – 4:00 PM in the months of May, September and October. We’ll take a break from rehearsing during the rainy summer months while many are away. Then in October, we’ll start our seasonal reharsals from 7:00 – 9:15 PM every Tuesday night again.
Under the strong leadership of our new President, Jim (Curly) Wilson, we have filled many of our vacant Board positions and resumed regular chapter planning activities.  See our new Board members under the website's About Us tab.
See you on Tuesday!!! 

2020 - 2022 Neil Plum Scholarship Winners!


Since 2012, the Suncoast Statesmen have been awarding Neil Plum Scholarships to deserving seniors from Charlotte High School and/or Port Charlotte High School. (The program is described in more detail in the About Us section of this website.) Normally the scholarship winners are announced at our annual Harmony Showcase, and then presented with their scholarships at the Senior Awards Nights at their respective high schools. However, the 2020 Harmony Showcase was canceled due to the coronavirus, as were the Senior Awards evening assemblies.  so we are taking this opportunity to announce the 2020 winners here. Each winner will receive a $1,000.00 scholarship. 

The 2020 winners are Miss Jennifer Peters and Mr. Parker Williams. Both are seniors at Port Charlotte High School, and both are brass players. Jennifer plays the trumpet, while Parker's instrument of choice is the tuba. Both will enter college in the fall to continue their education. The Suncoast Statesmen are extremely proud of each scholarship winner, and delighted to be able to assist them in their educational pursuits.

Subsequently, the continuing COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of the entire 2020-2021 season for the Suncoast Statesmen, and with it the awarding of annual high school scholarships. The Suncoast Statesmen returned to performing for hire in the Fall of 2021 into 2022 and plan on involving our scholarship winner in our 2023 Spring Show.

Harmony Showcase 2023

March 19, 2023 @ 4:00 PM

Rehearsals
Tuesdays @ 7:00 PM
Burnt Store Presbyterian Church                     
11330 Burnt Store Road
Punta Gorda, FL 33955                   
Contact 

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