By Todd Camp
Ask any Turtle Creek Chorale member and they’ll tell you that the Chorale is not just an extracurricular activity, it’s a way of life. But for some Turtles, the Chorale is only one of their passions, and their seemingly boundless enthusiasm extends to other activities in which they share a comparatively intense interest.
Take four-year Turtle Creek Chorale veteran Bill Richard, for instance, whose love of theater has taken him in an unexpected and exciting direction. After being taken with acting in high school and college, he left that all behind when he entered the seminary and was ordained as a priest.
“I left ministry in 2005 and had occasionally thought about trying acting again, but never acted upon that (pardon the pun) until last January,” Bill says. Encouraged by positive reviews, he auditioned for the inaugural PlayPride LGBT Festival, a competition of one-act plays by Texas playwrights.
In addition to acting, he decided to turn his experience writing sermons, poetry, and articles about preaching into a short play, Trapped: A Confessional Tale, which he submitted and just recently learned was one of only six plays chosen to compete in the festival.
“Interpreting a character on stage and helping bring a story to life is a different twist on helping people to experience and interpret life,” he says. “And actually writing a play took that even a step further.”
For Kevin Stone, serving as co-chair of the Turtle Cares Committee has been a different kind of calling. Originally formed years ago during the AIDS epidemic that so severely affected many members of Turtle Creek Chorale, Turtle Cares is dedicated to assisting those Turtle members in need, Stone says.
That includes everything from help with transportation to and from doctor’s appointments or even rehearsals to sending flowers to hospitalized members to lending financial assistance when possible.
“When I joined the Chorale in 2010, I wanted to do more than just come to rehearsal and sing. I really felt a pull to do more and devote time to do my part to help the organization grow and prosper,” Kevin says. “Within the Chorale, there are those in need — physically, emotionally, and financially — and I believe it is important to do whatever I can to help them.”