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Pine Cone Performers: One Singular Sensation

Each year between February and May, and again September through December, our hills are alive with the sound of the Pine Cone Performers rehearsing for their next concert. Delighting local audiences for more than four decades, Groveland’s own choral group knows how to bring it home. On May 19, 20, and 21, they’ll be bringing Broadway home with a program that will have you tapping your toes and singing along to many of your favorite show tunes.

Under the expert tutelage of professional musical director Dennis Brown, nearly two dozen local songbirds have put in hundreds of hours perfecting “Broadway Bound.” It’s one of the most challenging programs the group has ever undertaken, filled with fast-paced medleys, breathtaking a capellas (vocal performances with no musical accompaniment), and smooth moves. Brown, relentless in his pursuit of beautiful music, is a hard taskmaster during rehearsals. His insistence upon listening (to other sections), watching (the conductor, not the music), and disciplined breathing all while singing one’s own part, is powerful. The proof is in the performance and the Pine Cone Performers never disappoint.

One might be surprised at the amount of musical talent possessed by our neighbors in and around Groveland. Few of these singers are professionally trained. Many have some experience singing in school or church choirs. All share a love of using their voices to bring smiles (and sometimes, a few tears) to those who will listen. Some, like Pine Cone president Frank Jablonski, have been singing with the group for more than twenty years.

“I feel honored and privileged to represent the Pine Cone Performers as their president. Our choir, though small in numbers (23 members), has the heart and drive of a group twice its size. We love to bring “the sound of music” to Tuolumne County and look forward to performing our concerts each and every Spring and Winter. Director Dennis Brown has the unique ability to take many individual voices and blend them into one beautiful and harmonic sound," said Jablonski. "Through age and attrition, our choir numbers have been dwindling over the years, so we welcome with open arms anyone who has a desire to be part of this exceptional organization. Music is the soul hidden in our hearts, and the opportunity to bring our community together in song is something that our choir members look forward to every concert. Please take the opportunity to join us in song either at our concerts or at any of the events we participate in."

Over the years, members have moved away and newcomers are welcomed. The singers keep their eyes peeled and ears tuned for new voices to join the area’s Performing Arts community. The ability to read music isn’t required. If you can carry a tune in a bucket, listen as well as sing, and like the idea of entertaining your friends and neighbors, the Pine Cone Performers invite you to join in. Rehearsals for the Winter concert begin in late summer.

In addition to the Spring and Winter concerts, the Pine Cone Performers sing at numerous local and county events, including Groveland’s annual 49er Festival in September and other holiday celebrations. On Sunday, May 7, the choir will help kick off Groveland/Big Oak Flat’s First Responder Appreciation barbecue in Mary Laveroni Park.

Here's a taste of "Broadway Bound" to whet your appetite for more of this wonderful concert.

Tickets for “Broadway Bound” are available from Premier Valley Bank and The Little House for a $15 donation. You can also purchase from any Pine Cone singer. Look for their table outside MarVal over the next week. Performances are Friday, May 19 at 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21 at 2 pm at the Evangelical Free Church on Ferretti Road. For further information on this concert or on joining Pine Cone Performers, contact Frank Jablonski at or (209) 962-4375. Pine Cone Performers is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching our community through the Performing Arts.

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