Becket — The idea for The Hilltown Singalong happened at the Becket Transfer Station.
It was a bitter cold, drenching, arthritis-inflaming day in early winter. Just the sort of day when you’d like to leave the garbage at home. But the black plastic bags were piled high, ready to start stinking. So off I went, trolling the car radio for comfort.
I turned on the news. The super-blues descended. I tried music. An over-wrought man gave me the opening number from Hamilton and then the 11th hour number from Gypsy, both songs about rising up and claiming your rightful place in the world. I began to sing along.
By the time I joined the line to dump my trash, I was belting out Chicago and feeling better. I threw open my trunk. “All That Jazz” poured forth. From the car in front of me, Beyonce called, her driver still singing along as he hauled out his garbage. And behind me, someone was just finishing that inspiring country classic “She Got the Goldmine, I got the Shaft.” We singers recognized each other as fellow sufferers who had hit on a cure. We laughed and waved. Strangers becoming friends at the Transfer Station.
And thus, The Hilltown Singalong was born. The first session happens on Friday, February 24, 5-7 p.m. at the Becket Town Hall, 557 Main Street. Refreshments will be served. And the program is free for everyone. At the keyboard directing is Cathy Schane-Lydon. She’s been the music director for local productions of musicals like Legally Blonde, Annie Get Your Gun and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, she’s performed at the Caffe Lena in Saratoga, N.Y., and our own Colonial in Pittsfield, and she’s the music minister at the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge.
“We’re bringing lots of lyrics to the Singalong,” she said. “Broadway show tunes. Country favorites. Top 40s hits. Classics of The Great American Song Book. You don’t have to have to be a big vocal talent to sing with us. You just have to love gathering around the piano and singing the music we all love with family and friends. Just for the fun of it.”
The Hilltown Singalong is sponsored by the Becket Arts Center. “Let us know if you are coming,” said Administrative Coordinator Sarah Reedy. “So we can be sure to have enough lyrics and cookies. Call 413-623-6635 or email office@BecketArtsCenter.org.”