The Linden Singers
Back in 1995 Alfa Radford was looking for something to provide some variety to the worship service. She had in mind the sound of a men’s a cappella quartet. She enlisted her husband, Harry, as bass, Roger van Tassel as baritone, Richard Curzi as second tenor, and Roger Read as first tenor. Shortly after, Mark Stapp stepped in on bass when Harry’s strength began to fade. One of their first pieces was “Linden Lea” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, so when pressed for a name for the group for the order of service, Alfa suggested “The Linden Singers”…and so it would be. Since then several singers have been a part of the group: Roger and Richard have held onto the upper two voices for the duration, but the lower parts have been sung by Mike Serio on baritone, and current member, John Howe, on bass; while Paul Judge currently alternates between baritone and second tenor. The group was expanded to five members for one service, featuring Bayard Klimasmith on first bass. Over the years, the repertoire has migrated from classical (Schubert songs, for example) to center on a more earthy bluegrass gospel sound, some classic a cappella arrangements, and traditional jubilee style. In addition to singing at Sunday services, The Linden Singers have been heard at a number of church events, at the Second Friday Coffee House, at an occasional office party, at birthday or dinner parties, and even serenading a friend who might be recuperating in the hospital. And, The Linden Singers performances often are the subject of very competitive bidding at church auctions.