History of the Group
The A.M.E.N (Area Men’s Ensemble of Note) Chorus began during the summer of 2008 as the brainchild of Ken DeZeeuw, Don Schepers, Dean Smallegan, Mike Lee, Sandy Bode and Harvey Lucas. It was decided to try out the concept by recruiting members from the surrounding area by posting announcements in area church bulletins and personal contact with men that might be willing to commit to the time demands and their musical talents to the praise of our Lord and our country.
We began rehearsals in September of 2008 with 26 members all having the vision of a mission to enrich their musical talents as well as sharing a common joy of singing and being a spiritual witness to the area. The group consisted of a representation of men from Missaukee, Osceola and Wexford counties and a wide variety of churches and denominations. We performed our first concert at Lucas Rehoboth Reformed Church on November 2, 2008 to a wonderfully filled church.
The winter of 2009 found the A.M.E.N Chorus numbers swell to 35. We were blessed with the talents and commitment of the additional men. We performed three concerts (with wonderful attendance) in the spring at the Lucas Rehoboth Reformed Church, Prosper Christian Reformed Church and the Cadillac United Methodist Church.
The fall of 2009 season included more singers to expand our membership to 55. The size of the choir provided additional challenges of rehearsal room requirements, accommodating that many men on the risers as well as providing music, folders and rehearsal CD’s. We were blessed by performances at the Lucas Rehoboth Reformed Church on October 25 and a combined concert November 7 with the Singing Hims, a men’s choir from the Grand Rapids area. We also were invited to perform with the Cadillac Symphony Orchestra in a concert on November 22.
Sandy Bode has blessed us with her piano accompaniment. Ev Lucas has provided assistance by playing piano for sectional rehearsals and the organ for performances. We have also utilized the instrument talents of Larry Collins, Jeff Marion, Drew Marion and Caleb Vredenburg on trumpets, Angela Warner on saxophone and Chan Wiinikainen as our drummer. In addition we have Martha Wolf, french horn; Joel Vredenburg, bass guitar / trombone; Carrie Blaha, violin; Jennifer Schierbeek, the "extra" hands for four-hand piano music.
We very much appreciate their willingness to embellish our accompaniment.