When you first attend a Singing Circle, you might not realize Linda Smith Koehler is the Music Director.
The first time I went to the Weekly Singing Circle, there was a woman there who sang with her hands, and I mean REALLY sang with her hands. It was kind of like a person who talks with their hands, but you know, singing. I remember thinking that it was really fantastic because what she was doing with her hands corresponded to the words we were singing and helped me know almost all of the words to the new songs I was hearing, but not so apparent as to be taking charge. When we sang the word “tree”, her arms looked like shimmering trees, when we sang the word “smile”, she drew a smile on her face, and when we sang the word “see” she pointed to her eyes and then out.
I attended for a few more weeks, and it wasn’t until the group was getting ready for an event and the “hand – singing – lady” began to outwardly lead the group that I realized that this woman was the Music Director for Women With Wings and that she was also a teacher of the deaf!
I am regularly impressed by Linda's service to the group in her ability to guide but not hinder the energy of the group that is created each Thursday. She also is a great teacher of song, open hearted and true to the great music of which we are all a part.
Linda has been a key member of Women With Wings since it began in 1993. When Kay Gardner passed in 2002, Linda was the natural choice to become the next Director. Having been able to experience Linda first hand, I completely understand why she was that choice. We are so blessed to have Linda in our circle, guiding and leading us in song with a joyful heart. We are also blessed that she shares with us her songs, the original music she shares during the circle as well as through her songbook and CD.
If you come to sing on a Thursday or happen to see WWWings at an event, you will be able to see what a true delight Linda is. I personally feel very lucky to sing with her, share in Women With Wings' greater purpose, and hope to continue doing so for years to come. Thanks, Linda for what you do and who you are.
Jill Sallade Packard