GREAT FALLS — KayKarol Horse Capture has a simple way of explaining the meaning of the Great Falls College Community Choir: “It saved my life,” she said.
In 2013, her husband, George Horse Capture Sr., an internationally recognized expert on Native American art, culture and history who worked at the American Indian-Smithsonian Institution as well as a curator at other museums, died.
Shortly after her husband’s death, she became an original member of the college’s choir, GFC3.
“Being in the choir was such a godsend to me at that particular time in my life,” she said. “I can’t say enough good about it. It’s just great. I have fast friends from the choir that are near and dear to me. They are genuine friendships.
They aren’t just casual, community or college friendships. They are serious friendships. They are people you can trust and rely on.”
So she is very pleased the choir will be getting back together this fall after a year and a half apart because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I miss singing,” Horse Capture said. “I miss the camaraderie and the fellowship and the sterling leadership. I have been in many choirs over the years. I’m 80 years old, and I’ve been in many choirs, and I love to sing. I have never had the pleasure of singing with someone as gifted and astute and loving and kind as (choir director Cynthia Stevens) is. Cindy Stevens could walk around with a gold star in the middle of her forehead all of the time as far as I’m concerned. She is really a very, very special human being.”
Rehearsals will begin on Thursday, Aug. 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Heritage Hall. The fee will remain $25 per semester. Those interested in joining can register through LifeLong Learning or complete the registration form and pay the fee at the first rehearsal.
There are two collaborative concerts already on the books for fall, said Stevens, the fine arts/education department chair, including joining forces with other voices in the community to participate in the Montana State Music Teachers Association community choir concert on Friday, Oct. 29, and a holiday concert with Steve Olson and the C.M. Russell High School orchestra, Stevens said.
“GFC3 is the only true team that Great Falls College has, so it is time to get the team back together and start rehearsing and performing again,” Stevens said. “Upon our return, we will be following any required safety protocol related to Covid-19 and it’s variants. However, it’s time to get back in the game.”
Horse Capture certainly is looking forward to it.
“The beauty about singing is that you have the opportunity to express yourself in a certain way through the medium of the voice, but it also affords you the possibility to be in a wonderful mood,” she said, noting you can’t be sad and sing, before continuing. “It tends to color your point of view, your perspective. If you love life, you love singing.”
Singing with the choir has led to some memorable experiences, Horse Capture said. The choir sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and it sang at Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, Italy.
“Singing at Carnegie Hall, it was a little bit out of this world,” Horse Capture said. “I’d been to Carnegie Hall any number of times as a spectator, but being on the stage of Carnegie Hall is an entirely different experience. I had one small solo part, and I was concerned that my voice would not project in that big hall. One of my sisters was in the audience, and she said she could hear me perfectly. It was a magnificent experience.”
Horse Capture said the effusive praise for the merits of the choir and Stevens has been earned. “I’m a tough nut to crack,” she said. “I’ve been around the block a few times, and I’m just not as accepting of people as maybe some people think an old lady should be … I’m a detail person and picky as hell, and I’m not easy to please.”
But she encourages others to join the choir. “The price the college charges, you can afford that type of stuff,” she said. “The price is important. I live on a fixed income. Being able to afford something you really like to do is a bonus.”
She is even encouraging a grandson to give the choir a shot, and she is not going to listen to him say he can’t sing as an excuse. “Cindy Stevens can teach frogs to sing,” she said.
Those interested in becoming members of the choir can reach Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-771-2270 with questions.