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By RANDOM PENDRAGON
After a long break, classically-trained singer Bethany Staats is ready to sing her heart out at the “Fall Into Love” recital at the Liberty House on Sunday, Oct. 22. Her 14-song set serves a dual purpose: to raise funds for the Liberty House and commemorate her parents’ 40-year anniversary.
The recital marks Bethany’s return to singing after a hiatus following the birth of her two sons, age eight and five. “Now that they are both in school, I have a little more freedom to pursue some of my own interests again,” she said.
While formulating her plan to honor her parents’ marriage, Bethany knew that she wanted it to also be a “blessing to others,” leading her to partner up with Liberty House. Bethany’s parents are Christina and Chet Patterson; Chet was elected as one of Keizer’s first city councillors in 1983 and served in the position for 12 years. Liberty House is a non-profit organization in Salem that provides assessment, counseling, and support for children and families who are facing concerns of abuse, neglect, and trauma. Their mission is to provide compassionate and educated care for children who need it at no cost.
“I tried to choose repertoire that would be enjoyable for people with all different musical backgrounds,” Staats said on her choice of songs. “There are some classical art songs, but there are also folk songs and well-known songs from musicals.”
Emmanuel McGladrey, her choir teacher from Whiteaker Middle and husband of her voice coach, will be accompanying for a few songs with his recorder.
“[My parents] have been an amazing example for my in my marriage,” Bethany said. She’s been married 13 years herself, and added that her parents showed her how to love one another through both good and bad times of life.
“You wake up and choose to be the best spouse you can be,” Bethany said. “Love is not a feeling, it’s an action.” For Bethany, this undertaking was a natural decision to honor that marriage: “They’ve always been so supportive of me and my singing; I thought it would be a gift for them to do this recital.”
Liberty House relies on community donors to keep their services operational; a jar will be passed around at the end of the recital to accept free-will donations from anybody who feels compelled to give. The recital will take place 3 p.m. Oct. 22 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salem.