Season of song reminds group of humble start
When the Villagers of John Knox Village in Pompano Beach first performed, the men’s chorus group didn’t have an official name and it was only suppose to be a one-time gig.
But the amount of joy the group experienced from that single performance prompted them to make the effort a full-blown endeavor. The chorus is made up of John Knox Village residents that perform at the Village and venues around Broward County.
“There were no auditions, we just got together and I arbitrarily estimated what they could sing in terms of range and that's how we got started,” said Ron Davis, musical director of the Villagers.
Davis has the most musical expertise in the group after serving for 19 years as the supervisor of music for Broward County Schools as well as the choir director for six years at Fort Lauderdale High School.
The men's chorus group formed shortly after Davis was in the hospital in 2007 and received a phone call from several residents from John Knox Village that sang him ‘Happy Birthday.’ After reflecting on how well the men sang and what it meant to him, Davis decided to form a music group and with that, the Villagers were born. Since its humble beginnings, the group now consists of 55 members from ages 62 to 99.
“Needless to say, I don't have any discipline problems with my current choral group,” Davis said. “They do a great job.
John Knox Village resident Charles Johnson is one of the group’s original members and said he’s learned a great deal about performing from Davis and that he has more appreciation for what it takes to prepare.
About 75 percent of the men in the group have no prior organized chorus experience as well not being able to read music. However, that doesn't stop them from being in high demand.
The group routinely performs at John Knox Village's monthly birthday celebrations, the Veterans Day Parade, John Knox Village's Holiday Parade and at off-site performances from September through May. The next goal is to perform the 'National Anthem' at an upcoming Miami Marlins or Miami Dolphins game.
Past performances have been so popular, that tickets to the inaugural 'Knox Rocks' concert series sold out within hours of going on sale and John Knox Village had to add a second show for the second year.
“Most of them don’t have a lot of musical experience, but they work well together,” Davis said.
For more information, call 954-784-4726.