Kyle Jones wants to expand the community’s joy in both singing and listening

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Kyle Jones, the maestro with the South Bay Singers

By Mark Fenichel

The South Bay Singers is a community choir serving Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Hollister and nearby communities. They have brought in Kyle Jones as the new artistic director. Jones, who is director of music and worship arts at Advent Lutheran Church in Morgan Hill, succeeds Brant Ruggles. The choir, which numbers about 28, also is looking to add singers to the roster.

“We really want to be closer to 40,” Jones said. “We could use more men, particularly tenors. We also want to recruit more singers in general. The possibilities of expanding the repertoire open up when you have a greater number in the ensemble.”

But it’s not just numbers that Jones is after. He also wants to expand the community’s joy in both singing and listening.

“For me it brings great joy to help people accomplish what they think they can’t,” he said. “Choir is one of the most unique things in the sense that people come from so many backgrounds. These voices come together and mysteriously and magically work.”

The South Bay Singers were originally established as the Gavilan College Choir. In 2012, it became an independent community choir. The singers have been rehearsing weekly in Morgan Hill for about nine months of the year to prepare for spring and holiday concerts at Gilroy Presbyterian Church. The next concert, “I Hear America Singing,” is at 3 p.m. April 25. Past repertoire has ranged from John Rutter’s Magnificat and Vivaldi’s Gloria to musical theater numbers. Jones said he hopes to bring his broad pedagogical background to the choir.

“I understand the physicality of how the voice works,” said Jones, who is a composer and singer himself. “I want to communicate the basics of good singing, how using our body in singing is different from just living. The way we breathe is much deeper and more active and intentional than just everyday breathing. Everybody wants to be a part of something of quality. I want to bring out the most excellent part of what everybody is capable of being, an excellent singer. It’s my job to not only encourage that, but also to give them the tools and means to accomplish it.”

Rehearsals are Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at 1790 E. Dunne Ave., Morgan Hill. Annual membership fee is $160. Details: call 408-691-2389 or visit www.southbaysingers.com.

Got a music tip? Email Mark Fenichel at [email protected]

Mark Fenichel