One Accord

Musical group One Accord rehearses for their Dec. 15 shows.

Past and present One Acchord members will unite for two shows on one day.

On Dec. 15 One Acchord will hold its annual Christmas music variety show at the Tomah High School auditorium with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Kate Mathison, one of the show’s directors, said this year is special — it’s the musical group’s 15 year anniversary.

“It’s mainly a show about how we’ve grown over the years and how we’ve been affected by not only music,= but also how the music has grown our faith and our friendships,” she said. “It’s our usual music variety show, but there aren’t skits in between (songs) because this year we decided to put a little more personal spin on it — we’re sharing with people some backstage follies and personal stories about what One Acchord means to (us).”

It’s also a reunion show, said Lisa Giertych, another director and a charter member of One Acchord.

“Since it’s our 15-year anniversary I decided we would do a reunion show,” she said. “My idea was that if it was only one day, and we had done songs from the past that we already knew, maybe others would be able to commit the time in their schedules and be able to make it happen. Everyone did.”

Twenty-two people who have been involved with One Acchord at some point in the past will be singing in the upcoming show.

The theme for the show is “Welcome Home for Christmas,” a takeoff of the song I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Giertych said, which was a signature song for One Acchord when it was just a quartet.

“That’s kind of my theme − going from being friends into our One Accord family, because now there are 22 of us,” she said.

Mathison said the reduction in the number of shows from eight to two is another aspect that makes this year’s show special.

“Having two shows on one day made it easier to participate because eight shows over two weekends gets to be a lot − a lot of time, and the commitment is pretty large,” she said. “This allowed us to get more people to be able to participate.”

The venue change to the THS auditorium made the reduction in shows possible. Giertych said there isn’t enough space where they typically perform.

“We typically fit 110 to sometimes squeezing in 120 people here, and, of course, there are 900 (seats) there,” she said. “It’ll be interesting because the show dynamic kind of had to change being that it’s not as an intimate setting as here, and people are (sitting) further away. ... But we’re really excited, and the high school has been very accommodating.”

The music is a good variety, Mathison said. There’s a mix of swing, a capella, secular and humorous music. They tried to pick at least one song from each of the previous shows, excluding 2017, to perform this year.

Singer Al Capaul believes the repeat of songs is what the audience will love.

“They’ll remember them from years before, and I think they’ll like the fact that we got a lot of people from before in it,” he said.

In addition to the 22 singers, there will be an eight-piece orchestra and backstage crew members, both consisting of returning members, Mathison said.

Stephanie Brookman is a flute player in the orchestra. She has been involved for the past 10 years and is excited for the upcoming show.

“It’ll be fun because we’re bringing back ... people that used to be in the show but got too busy with their lives to be in it, and I’m really happy that they’re back in it,” she said. “It’s a bigger show, and it’s going to be kind of fun. I really enjoy the group and what they do and why they do it.”

Mathison is also excited. She hopes the audience takes away the spirit of Christmas.

“We hope that they feel the love in their hearts and the love of the music and are able to laugh a little bit, and then when they leave they can just kind of begin their Christmas season with lots of spirit,” she said. “I just think it’s going to be a very special show because of the fact that we’ve got so many members participating this year. It just tells the story of One Accord and how we began and how we’ve grown into this family.”

All the proceeds from One Acchord are given to charity, Giertych said. The group has donated close to $60,000 since the holiday show began in 2003.

“We actually decided after our very first year, when we made $12,000 on the show, ... we debated on getting paid or what, and we unanimously decided that we all wanted to just give, it was for giving,” she said. “All of our money was going to go to charity. We only keep enough to do a show for the next year; we give all the rest of the money away.”

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Meghan Flynn can be reached at meghan.flynn@lee.net.

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