Fairgoers on Sunday morning can have their admission fee into the fair reimbursed for a song. All they have to do is become part of the choir for the 2012 Canfield Fair Ecumenical worship service.
For as long as can be remembered, the Canfield Fair has always hosted an ecumenical worship service on Sunday morning. The service takes place on the concourse in front of the grandstand at 9:30 a.m. and includes a full choir, which miraculously comes together in less than a half hour.
At 9 a.m., singers from all over the county assemble for a half-hour practice session under the direction of Tom and Kelly Scurich. Tom is the music specialist at Hilltop Elementary School in Canfield, and is director of music at the Canfield Presbyterian Church. Kelly is the Canfield High School choral music director. The couple started their fair choir volunteering by singing in the choir.
"About 25 years ago, Kay Sittig, former director of the Fair Choir and Canfield High School choirs, invited Kelly and I to sing a duet for the service," Tom said "We continued singing for the service, and eventually conducted the choir as Kay accompanied. We assumed full responsibility as directors in 2003 upon the death of Kay."
For the past nine years, Tom and Kelly have directed the Sunday morning choir. They average 40 to 50 singers that range in age from 12 to well into their 80s. The singers gather and are given a quick half-hour practice session where they will learn two songs they will perform during the service.
"It is a challenge, but everyone always rises to the occasion," Tom said. "It just takes a lot of planning, teamwork, and prayer."
He said each year there are several high school choir members, primarily from Canfield High School that take part, but he welcomes other high school choir members as well.
Providing keyboard accompanying music this year is Canfield resident Adrienne Lesnett, who serves as director of children's choirs at Canfield Presbyterian Church.
When asked what his fondest memories of the fair choir was, he replied, "There are many... Primarily, having the opportunity to work together with people of all ages and walks of life, and come together to make music to glorify God. This is what makes the art of choral music so extraordinary: age, social status, and ability don't matter; we assemble and make music, have fun, and become enriched for the experience. Furthermore, it's always wonderful to be outside in God's creation as we present this service of worship, and incidentally, we've incurred rain only once in 25 years."
Those age 12 and up who want to be apart of the 2012 Canfield Fair ecumenical service choir, simply needs to show up at 9 a.m. on the concourse in front of the grandstand. They will rehearse a half an hour, then will sing two songs during the service. Following the service, each choir member will have their fair admission fee reimbursed.