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Turtles’ Favorite Singers from Across the Pond

As vocalists and music enthusiasts, the gentlemen of Turtle Creek Chorale definitely have eclectic tastes in all things music and songwriting. You could ask any average Joe on the street who his favorite music artist is right now, and the answer will most likely be pretty basic. But ask a Turtle and you will not only get an interesting answer, but most likely learn something too.

In no particular order, here are the Turtles’ favorite singers from across the pond.

  1. Annie Lennox from Eurythmics. “You simply have to listen to her voice and you’ll be mesmerized,” says Bob McCranie.
  2. Elton John. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was the first album TCC member Kevin Stone bought with his own money. “I played that album constantly! Listening to it took me to another world!”
  3. Andrew Lloyd Webber. Steven Laurence Mitchell describes him as a genius. “I love his music, and he has written so many award-winning, long running shows.”
  4. Amy Winehouse. Tri Truong respects her “different and unique songs,” emphasizing her authenticity.
  5. Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. TCC member Garret Pruessner praises Yorke and Greenwood for their brilliance in music composition and lyrical poetry. “They continue to combine acoustic and electronic elements in their music. I love Yorke’s unusual vocal style and the haunting tension of Jonny Greenwood’s guitars.”
  6. Tom Bailey and Simon Le Bon. Eric Ramsey speaks passionately about the singers of his favorite Brit bands, Thompson Twins and Duran Duran. “Their music was innovative, the lyrics were intelligent poetry, and each member’s instrument was treated as a solo voice within a broader synergistic sound. They were also my refuge from the trials of being the odd man out and satisfied my need for complex music.”
  7. Bono. U2’s lead singer is TCC singer Bryan Daniel’s pick for favorite artist across the pond, so I think it’s safe to assume Daniel was more than okay with Apple’s latest music stunt.

Time to update our music playlists and get amped about the Chorale’s upcoming performance of British-inspired hits!

Why Do Turtles Love Being Turtles? Let us count the ways.


By Augusta Neal

It would be hard to count exactly all the reasons why singing members love being a part of the Turtle Creek Chorale. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t try to narrow down the top 10. We asked Turtle Creek Chorale members what they loved most about being Turtles. Enjoy!

10. The opportunity for new experiences. 

“I love the opportunities for new experiences and new learning that being a Turtle provides.” — Jamie Rawson

“I enjoy any place that puts me in heels for the first time and makes me learn to run and jump in them on stage in front of thousands.” — Tri Truong

9. The joy of synchronism.

“The only thing more moving than hearing voices in sync is being a part of creating the experience. I love the pure, unalloyed joy that one can experience when singing with others.” — Jamie Rawson.

“Making a difference in the world. I am proud of the many causes we have championed. My single voice could never have made such an impact on the world, yet when joined by the many other voices we can accomplish a lot!” — Stephen Wade Price

8. The undivided acceptance.

“I finally found my family of choice. I can be who I am without worrying about what other people think.” — Kevin Stone

“The Chorale helps me feel like I’m part of a family away from my actual family. I like that support and community because I know there are moments where it just makes my day and gets me through things.” — Danny W. Lippert

7. The “doin’ it for the thrill” of it.

“I love the thrill of an especially outstanding performance.” — Jamie Rawson

6. The “little things.”

“My favorite part about being in the Chorale is the little life-affirming moments. Last night we were singing the “Brokeback Mountain Suite” — my favorite piece for our “Brave” concert. I turned to the row behind me and saw my Turtle brother Stephen Sanchez, and he mouthed, “Happy birthday … love you.” I became simultaneously emotional and overjoyed.” — Russ Weeks

5. The discipline through presence.

“When making music, one must be fully present. Rehearsing music provides a benefit akin to extended meditation, with the added benefit of interacting with others.” — Jamie Rawson

4. The undeniable talent.

“I love how singing can give palpable expression to emotions and convey them to those who listen.” — Jamie Rawson

3. The strength in similarities.

“TCC is filled with people who are like me. Funny, creative, musical, and more. We aren’t different when we’re together. We’re stronger.” — Bob McCranie

2. The feeling of experiencing the audience’s energy.

“I love to experience the energy of an appreciative audience.” — Jamie Rawson

1. The realization that, in the end, it’s all about the music.

“We are so blessed to create these beautiful soundtracks to enrich our lives. And our audience’s lives.” — Russ Weeks

“Going back and listening to our amazing work and saying, ‘Yes, I was a part of that.’” — Jess McDowell

 

25 Reasons to Give $25 on North Texas Giving Day

 

By Caroline French

On Thursday, September 18 your gift of $25 or more is eligible for bonus funds during North Texas Giving Day. Since lists are so on trend right now, we came up with our 25 reasons that you should contribute $25 to Turtle Creek Chorale on Thursday!

Let the countdown begin!

25. Keeping a world-class jewel in Big D’s crown! There are over 21,000 nonprofits in Big D, but not all of them *sparkle* the way Turtles do! Our award-winning combination of quality and entertainment make us one of Big D’s most unique nonprofits!

24. Two words – bonus funds. Who doesn’t love a bonus? On North Texas Giving Day, gifts of $25 or more are eligible for bonus funds. Communities Foundation of Texas will enhance, on a pro-rated basis, the total of donations made during North Texas Giving Day.

23. Singing across the generations. We’re not just talking about the fact that TCC has survived parachute pants, hair scrunchies, and Furbys. Our members range in age from 21 to over 75! That’s more than six decades of experience, history, and incredible stories.

22. All boats rise. TCC is one of the many fabulous local arts organizations in North Texas. When you support TCC, you are helping to support ALL of the North Texas arts!

21. Honor a musical angel. Since our founding in 1980, TCC has lost more than 200 members to AIDS/HIV. We honor those Turtles who have gone before us and whose shoulders we stand upon and sing today. Give your gift in honor of a musical angel.

20. Sammons – one word for creativity. Most office buildings look identical. You walk in and see desks, phones, and little cubes. When you walk into Sammons Center for the Arts to visit the TCC office, you might see a dance rehearsal, a youth orchestra, a yoga class or a cabaret! This is the creativity and inspiration that we are continuously surrounded by!

19. Music is expensive. The average octavo that the Chorale purchases for each member for each song we sing is $3.50. That means that for 150 men to sing one song at a concert costs approximately $525. Multiply that by the number of songs TCC sings in a concert season, and you’ll see the dollars adding up.

18. Setting an example. Did you know that 7% of the singing members are also teachers? These incredible members are leading the next generation of musicians, performers, and even mathematicians! Teaching is an art, and we love our teachers that love the art of choral music.

17. Better than a bar tab. When you wake up after a night at the bars, your wallet won’t be the only thing that hurts. Save yourself the headache and support TCC!

16. Your gift is needed. Annually, 40% of TCC’s funding comes from supporters like you! Your continued support allows us to continue producing such incredible music!

15. Building bridges. Ok, not literally. We are much better with high notes than hammers. TCC is committed to building meaningful relationships with our fellow nonprofits and our community.

14. Singing isn’t our only talent. Our small ensemble, SoundBytes, is comprised of 15 men who love to sing AND DANCE! Other Turtles write plays, act locally, make pottery, and even play the tuba!

13. Your gift is tax-deductible. Let’s be honest. Come April 15, you and your tax accountant will be scrambling to find every deduction possible!

12. Singing in the streets. And the park. And once even in a grocery store. Each year TCC presents more than 30 outreach concerts in our community. These performances afford TCC the opportunity to present free entertainment to those unable to attend our concerts.

11. Pay it forward! There are over 1,000 alumni in TCC’s database. Support the organization so that thousands more may have the same incredible experience!

10. “C” is for commitment. Singing members annually volunteer more than 100,000 hours for rehearsals, performances, and outreach events. When you support Turtle Creek Chorale, you support our many commitments to the music, to the membership, and to the Metroplex community and beyond.

9. Diversity. It’s not just a word to us. Our singing members are as diverse as the musical selections we present. From the U.S. Army Chorus to Sandi Patty to Liza Minnelli and even the late great Joan Rivers, TCC opens our arms to diversity.

8. Sharp dressed men. Tuxedos usually mean stuffy events. If they were comfortable, silk pajamas wouldn’t have been invented. But for a TCC singing member, a tuxedo is one of the many expenses of membership. Our financial assistance scholarships ensure anyone can be a part of the organization – and look good doing so.

7. Giving begets giving. When your friends see you giving to an organization, they similarly want to give and be a part. Some call this peer-pressure. We call it “awesome-sauce.”

6. Not all libraries are filled with books. Did you know that there are over 4,000 songs in TCC’s Music Library? This library allows TCC to be a resource for our chorale community, regularly lending pieces to other choruses and commissioning new arrangements.

5. Double your gift in under 5 minutes. Many companies offer matching gift programs. Ask if your company will match your gift to TCC, and you will have doubled your gift and the impact of your gift in under 5 minutes!

4. Alpha Omega Turtle. Though we aren’t technically a fraternity, the brotherhood of TCC offers a supportive family for like-minded individuals. For many individuals, we ARE their family, their support network, their big brothers, and their sense of security.

3. Nonprofits need lightbulbs too. Everyone loves to talk about education, ROI, and numbers served…but nonprofits also need those pesky mundane items like letterhead, postage, and yes, lightbulbs.

2. It feels good to give! You know that instant gratification you feel when you support an organization you love? That’s because you are participating in something larger than yourself.

1. You know the gift of song. TCC performances take you on a musical and emotional journey. Sometimes you laugh. Sometimes you cry. But every time you leave knowing the gift of song.

On September 18 from 6am to midnight, visit www.northtexasgivingday.org to make your gift to Turtle Creek Chorale. Gifts of $25 or more are eligible for bonus funds only on September 18 when made through the North Texas Giving Day site.