PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) — They say love makes you want to sing, but for a Panama City choir, they really love to sing.
The Panama City A Cappella Choir meets weekly at Trinity Lutheran Church in Panama City to practice singing together. The all-female choir sings everything from religious hits, parties, pop to patriotic songs using only the human voice.
“We all aim to empower women through friendship, education and song,” said Barbara Sampson, director of the A Cappella Choir of Panama.
Barbara Sampson directs the choir, teaching and directing the singers. She has been part of the group for about 20 years out of the more than 40 years of the choir’s existence.
“You don’t have to be very talented when it comes to singing,” Barbara said. “You don’t have to have a classical education or know how to read music. You just have to love to sing… and carry a melody.
The choir is made up of local women of all ages and backgrounds. Nancy Everitt sings tenor and joined the choir around the same time as Barbara.
“We’re just singing our little hearts out,” Everitt said. “It was my gift to myself after retirement. And never regret it.
The lead singer is Sarah Michielsen who joined two months ago after moving from Canada to Panama City.
“It was awesome, honestly the first time I came here I got it all, it was overwhelming,” Michielsen said.
The choir does everything. They sing at events throughout the area, as well as Christmas carols and “Singing Valentines”, which allows them to raise funds to take trips and participate in choir competitions.
“You know, they’re so busy taking care of their kids, their husbands, their jobs, their homes, whatever. And that’s just one thing they do for themselves,” Barbara said.
But it’s more than singing for this choir. They form lifelong friendships.
“We come to the chorus for the music, but we stay for the friendships. These are lifelong friendships, they really are,” Barbara said.
A wonderful feeling when friends become family and, like any family, they seek to grow.
“It’s a group of women who love each other and any woman who walks through the door will have 18 instant friends,” Barbara said.
If you want to join the choir, you can find them @PCAHI on Facebook.
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