Singing red, white and blue to help ranch

Voices carry throughout the church sanctuary as the Piedmont Choral Society rehearses for the annual patriotic concert.

The concert will be held at 7 p.m. June 24 at Forest Hill United Methodist Church in Concord. All donations collected will go to benefit nonprofit organization Wings of Eagles Ranch in Concord.

"Our group really enjoys doing community service and we want to use our talents to help our community. We enjoy singing and we can use the things that we enjoy, what we love, to help our community," said Kay Yates, president of the Piedmont Choral Society.

For the first time, the chorus will also hold a repeat patriotic concert 3 p.m. June 27 at the church at 65 Union St. N.

Wings of Eagles is a ranch that uses horses as therapeutic tools for individuals with special needs, said Christine Cronin, director of Wings of Eagles Ranch, 4800Faith Trails.

"It's an amazing tool when it comes to strength and balance. All of the other pieces just fall into place, like self-esteem," said Cronin.

The ranch holds three eight-week sessions a year and each week there are 50 slots open for riders.

There are also four summer camp sessions planned this year, with more than 100 campers signed up to attend. During camp, participants are involved in horseback riding, high ropes, art, drama, and more, Cronin said.

"It takes a village to run this place, so without volunteers I wouldn't be here," she said.

At the concert, the chorus will be raffling off an afternoon of supervised horseback riding for a winning family, Yates said.

There are expected to be 200-250 in attendance at the patriotic concert, and the chorus hopes to raise more than $1,500 for the ranch, she said.

The Piedmont Choral Society has about 40 members, but plans to have 50 sing in the upcoming concert. The group will sing pieces such as "God Bless the USA," "The Star Spangled Banner," and the "Armed Forces Salute."

The society has been in existence for 35 years, serving as an outlet for local community singers. The group was known for the first 10 years as the Kannapolis Community Singers. After losing their music director late last year, the group settled in at Forest Hill in January of 2010.

"This concert traditionally has been one of the favorites of the town; it's very patriotic. You'll see people with tears in their eyes," said Jerry Dyer, vice president of the Piedmont Choral Society.

"It's just fun, we enjoy being together," said Yates. "We can cut up, we work hard, we get a lot done, and it's just fun."