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Walks of Life

Stringless instruments

12/1/2021

Singers who love to sing offer up a part of their hearts that stirs up an internal energy and lifts our souls. Joy. Sorrow. Heart. Heartbreak. Emotion. Energy. The art of song might be the best gift anyone can give.

Music might be the world’s most popular art form — and for good reason. It makes us come alive, alters our mood, brings back special memories and allows us to deal with deep feelings. In short, music makes us feel and helps us heal. The four people featured below — their stories are condensed courtesy of CITYVIEW’s sister publications, the Iowa Living magazines — have a passion for sharing something special. When these fine folks open up to sing, central Iowa is all ears. ♦


Cathy Hanes

Accompanist at St. John’s 

Cathy Hanes started playing piano in second grade and continued while on a college music scholarship.

“Music has always been a big part of my life,” she says. “Especially throughout my school and college years. Being the accompanist to the choir, for music programs or the congregation, and hearing people sing to the music I played gave me joy.”

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But with family and work responsibilities — life — Hanes once reached a point where she felt disconnected from music.

“My mother had given me her piano, but I seemed too busy to play it,” Hanes remembers. “When I was asked to play for the church, I was nervous, but it brought me back into playing music again. Now, I am so glad to provide the music for people to sing; the joy is back.” 

Source: Adel Living, November 2021; by Marsha Fisher


Gabby Clutter

For the love of opera

Gabrielle (Gabby) Clutter’s great-grandmother taught voice and piano, and her mother is a music teacher. So, when her guidance counselor asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, the answer was easy. 

“The next Britney Spears,” she remembers saying. 

As an 8-year-old, Clutter attended an opera by The Des Moines Metro Opera. The production had her sitting on the edge of her seat, and music became even more important.

In high school, Clutter did A Cappella, and then she double majored in vocal performance and music education at Drake University before earning a masters degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee. 

Now, Clutter teaches voice lessons and works at Drake University. She has several auditions on the agenda for upcoming performances. 

Source: Indianola Living, November 2021; by Becky Kolosik


Jeff Arrandale 

From AM radio to Christian gospel

It all started with an AM radio for Jeff Arrandale. 

“I am a child of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s,” he says. “I loved pop rock music.”

That love led him to the guitar then on to composing. Next, he played in bands during high school and college, which was a good creative outlet and a release, but, for some reason, Arrandale put music aside for a while. But upon discovering Christian music, it was on again. 

The Jeff Arrandale Band plays “a combination of pop rock, country and Christian gospel.” The purpose, according to Arrandale, is to point people to Jesus Christ. 

The band’s current EP is out and is called “Guided.” For more information, visit jeffarrandale.com.

Source: Norwalk Living, November 2021; by Rachel Harrington


Sheila Bales 

Turns laryngitis into lemonade

“If they ever had a Catholic ‘Name That Tune’ game show, I’d win,” jokes Sheila Bales, who performs in three Catholic choirs — St. Francis of Assisi, St. Ambrose Cathedral and Sacred Heart’s Praise Band. 

You might think Bales can’t get enough of music, but that’s only kinda true. She remembers one holiday season with a heavy practice schedule that led to her losing her voice. 

“I was beside myself because I couldn’t sing,” she remembers.

But when life gives you laryngitis, it’s time for some proverbial lemonade. 

Since she couldn’t sing, she invited dozens of students who were home from college break to fill in while she directed. 

“I got to hear it all,” she remembers. “I had the best seat in the house. I took the time to soak it all in.”

Source: Jordan Creek Living, November 2021; by Jackie Wilson

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