And, music fills the air! The Kennett Community Choir has a mission---to spread peace and harmony through a diverse group of community members lifting their voices as one. They have been singing this message for nearly 20 years!

It all started with Mabel Thompson, who believed our community needed to revitalize MLK’s dream of peace and harmony among all people. Her leadership brought about the Kennett Area MLK CommUNITY Annual Breakfast, which occurs on the MLK Monday holiday. As part of this event, Mabel requested that a community choir be formed that helped inspire this cause.

Dennis Melton and I worked together to actualize Mabel’s request the first couple of years of the breakfast, which started in 2001. We were able to involve a diverse group of enthusiastic singers, including children, while at the same time we admittedly knew we did not have the talent for the directorship role.

Enter Leon Spencer, who was born with directorship talent. He also has a trained bass voice and is a vocal and string instrument teacher in his private music studio. Leon agreed to pick up the baton on the second year of the MLK CommUNITY breakfast and from that time on, he continues to bring out the best and more from this multifarious group.

The Kennett Community Choir sends out an open invitation to community members. Anyone, who enjoys singing, can marginally read music and wants to share in the mission is welcome to become a member. There aren’t many music groups that one is invited to step in without auditioning and is warmly welcomed. Beyond the joy of singing, choir members have become friends and others admit they are happy to get to know community members that live outside their social circle.

The choir prepares for the MLK Breakfast a couple of weeks before the event, then fills the Red Clay Room with songs that relate to the theme of the day. Through the years, there have been regular members who will never miss being present at the MLK Breakfast! Some miss a year due to extenuating circumstances, but will rejoin the following year, and the best part is that new members join each year.

One of the highlights has been the participation of the Kennett High School and Unionville High School students. What a joyous sound this intergenerational and diverse group of voices can raise!

On request, the choir has performed at Kendal Communities; Anson B Nixon Park (in a thunder storm I might add); the Thanksgiving Interfaith service and several other community events.

An annual event has become one of showing up in front of The Kennett Inn on a designated date and time in December, then strolling down the streets of Kennett moving in and out of the stores and restaurants singing carols of the holiday season. Did you hear us this year?

Music is the great unifier! Music transcends all political ideology, social strata, cultures, races and human frailties. When everyone has the same musical script to follow and joins together to present its expression, the group becomes one, bringing inspiration to the listener. As Leon coaches in his directorship; “Sing the song like you mean it. You are the peace and harmony messengers---the best kind!” Would you like to become one?

The Story of Kennett may be purchased on Amazon and at the Mushroom Cap or Resale Book Shoppe in Kennett. You can contact Joan at dochollisv@aol.com
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