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King City Music Club rocks the Clubhouse every week

Marlana Lytehaause loves music and started new club with Sharon Baker
by: Barbara Sherman SWEET, SWEET MUSIC — At a recent session of the King City Music Club, those in attendance burst into song with their voices and a few musical instruments.

One of the advantages of living in King City is that if people want to start a new club or activity, they can just grab the ball and run with it.

King City newcomer Marlana Lytehaause thought that King City needed a music club, and a few months later, a couple dozen people are now meeting on Mondays in the KCCA Clubhouse to make music.

"The club is an incubator - we can do whatever people want," said Marlana, who started the club with Sharon Baker. "I have always sung, and I play the keyboard and autoharp - nothing professional, but it is fun.

"I just moved here in November, and the first thing I looked for was a music club. I was surprised that there wasn't one."

Marlana, who has a master's degree in social work, works part time from her home with clients all over the world, so she has the time to devote to growing a new club.

"Fifteen people showed up at the first meeting, and we put chairs in a circle and started making music," she said. "That's when it really happened. I'm impressed with the talent here, and the club is open to everybody."

When Marlana doesn't plan for the club to venture into opera, almost every other style of music is fair game for the musicians - country, gospel, rock, pop and show tunes for starters.

"Lots of people like show tunes," she said. "We are eager to play - the more, the merrier. And we have a sound tech who can bring a professional PA system."

The club meets every Monday from 1 to 4 p.m., with the first Monday of the month reserved as an open mic event in which people who have rehearsed a song are welcome to sing it or play it.

According to Marlana, the first open mic session "was a roaring success."

"We had 11 acts ranging from country to pop, from the old familiars to the obscure and beautiful," she said April 7. "We've now had two open mic sessions, and both were amazing and fun. The last one had 16 acts and 25 in attendance.

"We are all about creating an encouraging and supportive atmosphere for musicians of most musical styles and levels of skill and talent. Participants in an open mic may be playing the role of performer one minute and audience member the next. Each role is vital to a successfulopen mic event."

Marlana is enthusiastic about all the talent coming out of the woodwork.

"We have many instruments represented within out club membership, including piano, several guitars, some drums and other rhythm instruments, banjos and even a jaws harp," she said.

"Of course, we have many beautiful singers covering all four harmony parts. We have sopranos, altos, tenors and basses - a nice mix of both men and women in the chorus.

"The chorus is almost totally directed and performed by ear. Very few members read any music at all, and yet we are loving it and feeling pretty good about our level of musicality."

The club is looking for a choir director and a piano player for the choir to work with on a volunteer basis, according to Marlana.

"We need a director and piano player who read music and appreciate working with singers who already know how to sing harmony by ear," she said.

After the first Monday, the other Mondays of the month are slated for chorus singing, jam sessions and sing-a-longs, and club members are invited to form small group ensembles, teach others to play or sing, or learn to play an instrument or sing.

The schedule calls for a business meeting at 1 p.m., followed by an instrumental jam or sing-along at 1:30, and both can happen at the same time in different rooms.

Chorus practice starts at 2:30 p.m., and at 3:30, small groups can network and people can practice for the next open mic, with the next one set for June 6 at 1:30 p.m.

The club was formally established in February, and Marlana is the president, Sharon is the vice president, and Marie VanderWeele is the secretary/treasurer.

Dues are only $10 per year, and people can come to a few sessions before formally joining.

People may just show up at a Music Club meeting.