Music and Me Part 4

18 Apr


Judy Wills

I mentioned before that I thoroughly enjoyed singing in choirs – all through my growing-up years.  Church choirs…school choirs…and just about any other kinds of choirs I could get into.

1959 Highland High School combined chorus. (I’m in there somewhere?)

I’m not too sure whether or not I really had a solo voice, and so I was more comfortable singing in groups.  Trios were my favorite.  I usually sang the second soprano part, and I loved it!  I still enjoy harmonizing – even harmonizing along with the songs we do it church.  Our church has taken to having a “blended” worship service, which includes some of the old hymns and some of the new music.  Most of the time it is agreeable to me.  However, we don’t use the hymnals much anymore, where the harmony parts are printed.  The words to the songs are shown on a large screen, so most everyone sings the melody.  That’s when I harmonize on my own!  It’s kind of fun, too!

I guess that’s why I enjoyed singing with the Dreamers in my high school so much.  I was placed on the Second Soprano part nearly always.  And I was in the school chorus as well, so that gave me more opportunity to harmonize.

But my very favorite group to sing with was Billie and her sister, Becky.

     1958 – Becky – Senior Picture              1959 – Billie – Senior Picture 1959 Judy Senior Picture

1959 – Judy, Becky and Billie – practicing at Judy’s house

Why they chose me to join them, I’ll never know.  But we had a really good sound together.  Becky was a grade ahead of Billie and I, and she had the sweetest soprano voice!  I was second, and Billie was alto.  What made it more interesting was that Billie also played the piano for us!  We did a lot of the old songs – Moon Over Miami, Mr. Sandman, Sugartime, Old Cape Cod, Muscrat Ramble.  While we had our own sound, we did tend to imitate The Andrew Sisters.  As Billie said, we never had sheet music – we just sang what we heard and remembered.  Oh the memories – it was such fun!

I didn’t attend the same church that Billie and Becky did, but I do remember going to their church to sing in their services some times.  I don’t remember whether or not they came to my church for the same thing.  Doesn’t matter – we just loved singing together.

I also remember singing in a “mixed” trio when we lived in Panama City, Florida.  It was part of the church choir there, and the music director, one other fellow, and myself were the trio.  That time I sang soprano, and the guys sang tenor and bass.  As I recall the song we did in the service was a Gaither song, Something Beautiful.  It was a fairly new song just then, and it was well received by the congregation.

The only time I remember not singing the second soprano part was while we were living in San Antonio, Texas.  I don’t remember exactly the event that the women’s quartet I was singing with was performing for.  But I just remember that I had terrible cold that day – nearly laryngitis!  And my voice was so low that I sang the lowest part of the songs!  And in women’s four-part harmony…that’s LOW!

I sang one time with the choir at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary while we were there in Fort Worth, Texas.  I was not a student there – Fred was – but the community at large was invited to sing with the choir.  It was a wonderful experience, and we did Handel’s Messiah- but I only did it one time.  We met to rehearse in the evening, and I was so tired from working all day that I could hardly keep my eyes open!

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary rotunda – Fort Worth, Texas

~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

2 Responses to “Music and Me Part 4”

  1. Billie Hayes April 18, 2021 at 4:37 pm #

    LudyJay, it goes without saying how thrilled I was to see the three of us pictured and to recall that great sound we had — and, make no mistake, it WAS a terrific blend. Still luvving ya.

    Liked by 2 people

    • ludyja April 18, 2021 at 8:33 pm #

      Back at ya, my friend!!


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