Musical Troupe One A Chord Delivers Christmas Cheer


November 23, 2019

By Pat Baldwin

Discover some of the best Christmas music in Katy this season at the One A Chord performances each Monday, November 25 through December 16 at area retirement, nursing and assisted living homes. The public is welcome to share the fun by attending the free variety shows. Singers, dancers and instrumentalists are invited to become members of the entertainment troupe.

The church hall is akin to Santa’s workshop. Each of these “elves” – clad mostly in red and green – has a task. And time is short. The One A Chord singers, dancers and instrumentalists are rehearsing for Christmas performances each Monday, November 25 through December 16 at area retirement, nursing and assisted living homes.

Along with a lively variety show, expect toy soldiers, a Santa appearance and gifts galore. The troupe’s members have donated funds for more than 400 presents for area seniors.

Invitations, however, are not limited. Everyone is welcome to share the fun by attending the free shows. Those interested also are invited to become members of the entertainment group founded in 1995. The only requirement is a desire to have fun.

A Blessing

The performances are a “real blessing,” says Gail Shipley, who has been the One A Chord music director since 2004. “They are as much for us as the people we’re sharing with. It’s amazing how rewarding it is.”

Shipley also serves as director of the Grace Notes, the women’s choir at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Katy. The church provides rehearsal space for One A Chord.

During its 2019-2020 season, the 24-year-old group scheduled 28 performances October through May. One A Chord boasts about 75 volunteer members from various area churches – and a synagogue.

Old-fashioned Variety Show

Started as an all-female choir, the entertainment group has grown over the years to include an increasing number of men, instruments and dance routines. Except for the Christmas performances, the variety shows include musical hits from previous decades, Broadway show tunes, gospel songs and patriotic music.

This rehearsal begins with a singing of “God Bless America” and a prayer. Then the members warm up with “Sleigh Ride.” In addition to singing and piano music, this practice features a trombone, a trumpet, two clarinets, jingling bells and maracas. Among the dancers is 85-year-old tap dancer Gay Munguia.

Veterans are saluted during each performance, and Elvis, aka Burton Dunlop, often shows up. Shipley says the King of Rock and Roll’s appearances will take a break for the holiday season, but it’s likely his “Blue Christmas” will be part of the upcoming repertoire. And Dunlop, playing himself, is featured during “O Holy Night” at this rehearsal.

For More Information

For more information about joining One A Chord, visit their website here or contact Judy O’Neil, librarian, at 832-567-0435 or Gail Shipley, director, at 281-782-1598. Dues are $25 for individuals and $40 for couples. The funds are used to purchase music.

One A Chord’s Free Christmas Performances

The public is welcome.

Monday, November 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Heritage Park of Katy Nursing and Rehabilitation

6001 George Bush Drive

Monday, December 2, 10:00 a.m.

Oakmont Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Katy

1525 Tull Drive

Monday, December 9, 10:00 a.m.

Legend Oaks Health and Rehabilitation

21717 Provincial Boulevard

Monday, December 16, 10:00 a.m.

Spanish Meadows Nursing & Rehab

1480 Katy-Flewellen Road


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