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Discover Fauquier November 2018
Though he has been singing
with the
Warrenton Chorale
for almost 30 years, accountant
Carroll Foley has what he likes
to call a "shower voice" (one that sounds best reverberating off
ceramic tile walls). Carroll is one of the 70 community members
that make up the Warrenton Chorale, which is proud to celebrate
its 65th anniversary this year. The Chorale, Carroll explains,
does not hold auditions, and doesn't necessarily strive to attract
those with professionally trained voices--just those who truly
love to sing. It is perhaps this spirit of inclusivity and love of
music that has fueled the group's longevity.
"The camaraderie is wonderful, and over
time you become better," says Carroll,
who is the Chorale's board chairman this
year. "Singing is like a sport you can carry
on beyond childhood, into adulthood and
old age. It's good for the soul and good
for the heart."
Baritone Chris Bailey, a veterinarian at
New Baltimore Animal Hospital, admits
he had no musical background to speak
of when he joined the Warrenton Chorale
34 years ago. But music did not entirely
elude him. One of his coworkers noticed
that Chris tended to whistle while he worked and mentioned
that the Warrenton Chorale was looking for male singers. The
rest is history.
Alto and former physical education teacher Joan Broughton has
committed 53 years of her life to the Chorale. "We refer to it as
the `Warrenton Chorale family,'" she says. "I enjoy the music,
the programming, and the people."
Like Carroll, her love of singing was nourished under church
choir director Barbara Stinson at Warrenton Presbyterian. When
Barbara moved into the position of Warrenton Chorale
director, many of her choir members joined. Barbara
directed the Warrenton Chorale for 30 years.
"Barbara Stinson was Warrenton's renaissance
woman," says Carroll. "She was a pioneer who was
admired and loved in our community. She left us
something to be proud of. Continuing her legacy is
an honor for me."
Over the past 65 years, the Warrenton Chorale has
been led by several beloved artistic directors. John
Maerhofer, who became the director the year the
organization turned 60, is no exception. Hailing from New York
State, John not only has an extensive musical background, but
one in teaching music as well. He discovered his life's passion
quite early when he began studying piano at the age of fi ve. Later
on, he became strongly drawn to singing and chorale conducting.
"I thought it was the coolest thing in the world," he says.
After years of studying, performing, conducting, and teaching at
various universities in New York, John and his wife Amy moved
to southern Maryland, where he took a university position in
2007. After a brief stint in retirement from music, John saw an
advertisement for an artistic director position with the Warrenton
Chorale. "Something about the way they worded their mission
spoke to me," he says. "When I met them, I thought, `What a
wonderful group to be associated with.'"
One of John's major contributions to the Chorale was instituting
a music committee. "During my interview, I learned that I was to
be the one who chose all the music," he recalls. "But I wanted
input from experienced group members. I wanted to discuss
ideas and work together to defi ne the direction our performances
would take."
A true teacher, John begins each season
with an historical overview of the chosen
music to help singers feel invested and
connected to each song. He even commits
additional time prior to rehearsal each
week to work with different sections. "Part
of my responsibility is to shape the sound
of the choir," says John. "One week I work
with altos and sopranos before rehearsal,
and the next week I spend extra time with
the tenors and basses on their parts. It
gives everyone equal footing."
His approach to leadership does not go
unappreciated. "I've really enjoyed his method of directing,"
says Joan. "He is calm and easygoing, yet he gets things done."
This year's holiday concert will be John's farewell performance.
To celebrate the Chorale's 65th anniversary, he and the board
commissioned an original piece of music by composer Ralph
Manuel. Audiences can also look forward to traditional holiday
tunes, a bell ensemble directed by Chorale member Bob
Schoenike, a presentation of the P. B. Smith Elementary School
Honor Choir led by Chorale member Kim Payne, and original
arrangements by Barbara Stinson.
"Our board is by far one of the best groups I've ever
worked with," says John. "You can discuss, disagree,
and dialogue, and they remain steadfastly supportive
and committed to the idea that we do what's best
for the group. I've enjoyed every minute with them."
"It's as joyful an experience for the people singing
as it is for the people listening," says Chris of the
Chorale's holiday performances. "I consistently hear
our audience members say that this show is how
they start their holiday season."
The Warrenton Chorale's "Christmas in Music" holiday
performance will be held at Warrenton United Methodist Church
November 29 & 30 at 7:30 p.m. and on December 1 at
3:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Great Harvest Bread,
Deja Brew, Oak View National Bank's Warrenton branch, g.
whillikers Toys & Books, Warrenton Jewelers, and the New
Baltimore Animal Hospital. The members of the Warrenton
Chorale look forward to bringing in the holiday season with
the gift of music!
~ Caitlin Scott
Chris Bailey, Joan Broughton, and Carroll Foley
John Maerhofer
Warrenton Chorale
Warms Up for its
65th Holiday Performance
If you live in Warrenton, you have likely
either waited in or driven past and observed
the remarkably long line at
the Chick-fil-A
drive-through. (You may have even sat
at the very end of the line, precariously
parked in the Route 29 turn lane).
If you're
a regular at this fast food chain known for
its great food and exceptional customer
service, that meandering line doesn't deter
you. "The food is worth waiting for," says
store owner Paul Brock. "People have
come to trust the fact that we deal with that
line very quickly."
So quickly, in fact, that this particular
location ranks 50th of the 2,400 Chick-
fil-A restaurants in the country for drive-
through speed and order accuracy, deftly
processing about 2,000 transactions a
day. According to Paul, the record for most
cars seen at the drive-through in a single
hour is 155. In case you were wondering,
that's just over two-and-a-half orders per
Paul, a former project engineer, has
owned the Warrenton Chick-fil-A for
almost 11 years. He believes that success
comes down to finding employees that
are productive and dedicated, but most
important, building a strong leadership
team. Paul spends most of his time
coaching a small group of leaders, who in
turn train the employees whose cheerful
voices we hear through the drive-through
"My store manager, Beckie Houde, is
loyal, positive, and fully invested in the
success of our location," says Paul. "Our
team is smaller than most of the Chick-fil-A
teams in Virginia, but these people work
incredibly hard. They're the best team I
have ever come across."
Besides having tasty fare, Chick-fil-A
also supports the community, regularly
hosting spirit day events for schools,
churches, and veterans. This year,
patrons can look forward to holiday-
themed events like "Dinner with Santa"
in December. To learn more, call
(540) 347-9791.
~ Caitlin Scott
on buSineSS
Paul Brock
A Chat with Paul Brock
Explains the Long Line
at Chick-fil-A