Berryman has directed the choir since 2005, but her connection to the group goes back even further than that. Her first experience with the Winchester Chorale was as a singer, under the direction of Gale Price. In 2001, the choir disbanded, but was resurrected again for the 2005 season. When the chorale board went looking for someone to direct, they knew Berryman was the right choice.
"I first became involved with the choir when Gale Price was the director and I sang in the choir. I was approached by the chorale board and asked if I would become their director, and I was honored to do so," Berryman said.
As director, Berryman also said she works hard to make sure the musical selection is varied enough to suit just about any taste. The upcoming Christmas concert includes traditional favorites like "White Christmas" and religious pieces like "Not an Ordinary Baby."
And it's important to Berryman to not only please the audience, but also make sure the songs are fun for the choir members to perform.
"I try to provide a variety of styles of music that will appeal to our choir members, as well as our audience. And then I also search for songs that are very familiar to our audience, as well as maybe some new songs that will spark some interest and expand the horizons of our choir members, as well. I want the music to be accessible, but musically challenging. Obtainable, but still musically challenging," Berryman said.
In addition to their annual Christmas concerts and nearly annual spring concerts, the chorale has also performed at the lighting of the state Christmas tree, the governor's prayer breakfast, the lighting of the Christmas tree at Clark Regional Medical Center and at several civic club meetings. Special guests like Homer Ledford and the Cabin Creek Band and the University of Kentucky's AccoUstiKats have accompanied the group in the past, as well.
Over the years, the chorale has grown in popularity, and longtime member Pat Perdue thinks people respond to seeing their fellow community members on stage.
"You don't have to go to Lexington or Louisville or Cincinnati to get quality music. And they (Winchester community) know people in it. It's family and friends," Perdue said.
Berryman believes that audiences respond to the fact that the chorale members have so much fun when they perform.
"I believe that they're (the chorale) something that they (audiences) can relate to. They can sense the energy and excitement that comes from our choir members. When you see a choir that not only sounds good, but also thoroughly enjoys what they're doing, you can't help but respond to that."
Contact Rachel Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org.