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Tryouts for pop chorus set for Sunday

Neil West is a man on a mission.

That mission? Bring an energetic, pop music chorus to Southwest Oklahoma.

West conceived the idea last spring after realizing that Lawton has some fantastic singers who love pop music, but have nowhere to perform.

After placing some calls around to some friends, a plan began to form.

"I thought I was crazy for wanting to do something of this caliber," West said. "Can we really pull this off? Should we even attempt to? The overwhelming answer was yes!"

After putting together an organizational team to help with music selection, choral direction and promotion, West started sending out invites in late May.

And just like that, Musicality was born.

The group started with around 26 dedicated members.

"We had music with eight-part harmony, and we were pulling it off beautifully," West said.

Unfortunately, in a chorus made up of adults, other obligations came along for many of the members after the start of the school year last fall.

The group dwindled to 10 active members.

Now, one year after founding Musicality, West is looking to expand and re-energize the group.

"We need more members to fill out the bigger chorus we need," he said. "I feel like, with more members, that infectious, joyful spirit is going to spread a little bit better."

West would like to bring the group back up to 25 members minimum, but his ultimate goal is to expand the group out to 40 members.

With more numbers, West hopes the group can fill in more voice parts.

"For the most part we need good blenders, and that's where I think we will strive for. I don't necessarily think we need good soloists; we are a group, so we really need those blenders," West said.

 David Hastings has been singing in Musicality's chorus since its inception. For him, the group represents a chance to prove that you don't need formal training to be a member in a great chorus.

"I'm not a trained musician by any means. My job is operations supervisor for American Water on Fort Sill," Hastings said. "I think that just goes to show you that you don't have to be a music teacher or something in this group  you just got to have a love of singing."

Hastings said his inclusion in the group should inspire others who might be thinking of joining.

"Hopefully we get a few more people who say 'Hey, I could do that .' And you can, you absolutely can."

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