Music is no stranger to DeBary-Orange City, Fla., Church members. They take many opportunities to dust off instruments and stretch vocal chords to share their talents at home and in the community.
In the summer of 2022, an octogenarian member with a long-time burning desire for a male singing group approached church musician Deon Muschette with the idea of forming such a group. It wasn’t long before 20 men of all ages signed up to attend a preliminary informational meeting.
Then, after faithfully meeting on Friday evenings, even during hurricane
time, the group became eager to try their songs in public, and a date was set for mid-October. Seventeen men, under Muschette’s direction, presented an original arrangement of “Worthy, Worthy is the Lamb,” blessing an enthusiastically receptive congregation.
Before the end of the year, the men’s chorus sang an original rendition of “We Three Kings” to a packed activities room of residents at the DeBary Highland Country Estates retirement community, which included a children’s duet and short inspirational message by a church elder. The group has continued a music witness at nursing homes.
Also last summer, interest blossomed in starting a small instrumental ensemble, as a number of members were proficient on various instruments. It wasn’t long before more people indicated they also played instruments and would like to join an orchestra. Pianist Janel Tasker agreed to head up the project and invited anyone interested in learning to play the ukulele, an easy instrument to learn, to come to rehearsals, and that’s all it took.
In September, the ukulele ensemble gave special music at church, and two months later a 25-member orchestra was introduced with violins, violas, a flute, ukuleles, guitar, cello, trumpet, trombone, mandolins, and piano.
In December, the orchestra presented a flash mob/caroling event at the Seminole Towne Center Mall in Sanford, Fla., which so impressed mall officials they invited the orchestra and singers to return in 2023. In the meantime, orchestra members continue their music as ministry in the church and in community nursing homes.
Florida | April 2023