Local Vocals

New director Anderson takes reigns
of Oldham County Singers

The vocalists are preparing
for their holiday concert

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (November 2014) – Walter Anderson had always hoped for a career in music, and even though things may not have happened quite the way he would have liked them to, he has been able to enjoy his passion for music for most of his life.
At the experienced age of 76, Anderson is the new music director for the Oldham County Singers. Now in their 16th season, the Oldham County Singers chose Anderson to replace Melissa Weaver, a chorus music teacher for 30 years and choral director at Kammerer Middle School.

Photo provided

The Oldham County Singers have a new director in Walt Anderson and they will perform Dec. 14 in Crestwood, Ky.

The Oldham County Singers are a community chorus based in Crestwood, Ky. The group performs a variety of song styles, from Broadway to show tunes, gospel hymns, folk music and traditional classical pieces. They are a committee of the Arts Association of Oldham County.
Anderson, who currently lives in Shelby County, is originally from Nashville, Tenn. He attended Middle Tennessee State University and received his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He then moved to Frankfort, Ky., where he has lived for the last 45 years.
Retired from teaching, Anderson said that when younger he had “hoped for a career in music. I could have gone to a professional level or stayed local.” He chose the latter path because he had a wife and child. “I had several opportunities to work at the next level but decided not to.”
Anderson said he does have the chance to “sing everyday. I do something vocal.”
With all of his previous musical experience, Ander-son is a perfect fit for the position of music director. “I’ve been an experienced director in a number of choruses and choirs, and a strong proponent of community choruses.”
Oldham County Singers member Octa Kellond said Anderson “came to us with good choral director experience. We knew about him through a few members of the A Capella Fellas group, a group Walter established at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center.” 
The Oldham County Singers will hold a holiday concert program at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center. The program will contain an assortment of classic, contemporary and Christmas material, said Anderson.
“It will have something everyone of any age can identify with,” Anderson said. Plans call for the inclusion of a few tunes from a barbershop quartet for male members, he said, and numbers from the Acabelles, a women’s ensemble of Oldham County Singers. Admission will be charged at the door.
For a number of years Anderson taught music, and then was recruited to work for the state of Kentucky as the executive director of the Beverage Industry Recycling Program. He then returned to teaching for a time.
While living in Frankfort, Ky, he helped establish a group known as FLAME. “It was an umbrella organization for all arts endeavors,” said Anderson.
FLAME worked with graphic artists, visual artists, bands and singers. “We became a grant seeker for all those folks, and helped shape the Arts Council of Kentucky,” he said.
Anderson is currently in his fifth year as the music director at Pewee Valley Presbyterian Church. In his tenure there, he has aided in developing an annual concert series consisting of three programs for the summer season which feature a variety of performers from the local area.
He enjoys choosing a “wide range of listening material for the general public,” he said. “I like to educate them in the availability of music that they may never have a chance to experience. It’s an unending pleasure to work in that area.”
“We’re happy to have someone of his skill, capabilities and knowledge to teach and lead our group as we continue to grow,” Kellond said. Over the past year, the group has expanded from 15 members to 25. “We want to be a chorus of 50 within the next year.”
Anderson said he likes the unpredictability of finding just the right moment when his choir or chorus performs the perfect chord or note. “It never comes when you’re standing in front of an audience,” he said.
“It usually happens in rehearsal. The choir or chorus sings something the way you envision it, and you say, ‘Let’s do it again to make sure it’s not a fluke.’ But you know its not. You recognize it when you hear the chord; it’s fresh in your memory. You know you can’t do any better.”
The Oldham County Singers “are a wonderful group to work with. They are such knowledgeable musicians,” Anderson said of the group. “We’re just beginning to explore the abilities we have.”

• For more information about the Oldham County Singers contact Octa Kellond at okellond@twc.com or (502) 241-6806. The singers rehearse from 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays, at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center. They seek additional singers. For more information about programs at the Oldham County Schools Arts Center contact the center at (502) 241-6018.

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