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For the Love of Music

She loves that people can express things through music that they can't verbally or through other means. For example, she can't paint, but she can make music.

"It's a wonderful way to communicate," she said.

That passion for music is what links the members of the choral society, who come from Albany, Schenectady, Montgomery and Saratoga counties.

"The only requirement is that you just love to make music," Quinn said.

One way the society strives to spread that love is by inviting guest artists to work with it each season " a practice that dates back to Wheeler.

"We feel strongly about exposing the community to as many live performances as possible," Quinn said.

For the May 15 concert, the guest artist is the Schenectady High School Chamber Choir. The choral society frequently pairs with local schools, which Lehmann called a "two-way street."

"Many of the guest artists later join us," she said.

Getting members isn't as easy as it once was, though. While the society grew to about 100 members after World War II, these days there are only about 20. Lehmann noted that there are several singing groups in the area that compete for talent, and people simply don't have as much free time as they once did.

"People's lives have become more complicated," she said.

Quinn said the group hopes that the 75th anniversary concert will help spark some interest in the group, which practices once a week at Eastern Parkway United Methodist Church and stages a fall/winter concert and a spring concert.

Lehmann likes each performance to have a theme. The May 15 concert's theme is love, blending sacred and secular songs. There will be selections from Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schubert, Bach and Gershwin, as well as Franz Lehr's "Yours Is My Heart Alone."

Lehmann said she tries not to repeat songs the group has performed, a task aided by the group's library, which dates to its early days.

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