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New name, new home, new director: What’s next for the Cumming Playhouse Singers?
FCN Kirk Grizzle 1 010219
Kirk Grizzle was named the next director of the Forsyth Singers, the local mixed-age adult choral group known as the Cumming Playhouse Singers.

Kirk Grizzle was ready to try something new.

Grizzle has worked with choral students in Forsyth County high schools for the past 18 years, first at South Forsyth and currently at Denmark. Now, he’ll be working with an older crowd as the new director of the Cumming Playhouse Singers, the mixed-aged adult chorus that has been a staple in Forsyth County for more than a decade.

“It’s been a lot of fun; I’ve enjoyed working with adults,” Grizzle said. “It’s been kind of new to me to work with adults, but they do some great work there, and they’re a whole lot of fun to work with. Great representation of our community.”

Grizzle takes over for the choral group at a time of transition. The Cumming Playhouse Singers’ Dec. 20 performance was Grizzle’s first with the group, but it was also likely their last at the downtown Cumming theater.

In June, the Cumming City Council voted to turn over management of the Cumming Playhouse to Brian and Kelly Tam, co-owners of Tam’s BackStage restaurant. The Playhouse and restaurant have both called the historic 1923 Cumming Public School building home since 2004 and 2005, respectively.

But Grizzle said the group doesn’t see the Playhouse as a viable home going forward due to its limited seating and revenue-sharing policies.

“I think in order for the group to expand and be able to have a little more flexibility in when they have their concerts and stuff would be to find a new location,” Grizzle said.

And so the group has a new name — the Forsyth Singers — and a new location for its spring concert. They’ll perform at Denmark High School, where Grizzle teaches acting, chorus, technical theater and musical theater. It’s a perfect location for now, Grizzle said: they’ll be able to seat up to 500 people in the school’s performing arts center and keep 100 percent of their ticket sales. Grizzle said the group would be open to other venues in the future.

Having Denmark as a home could also help the choral group grow in numbers and diversify the age group of its membership, two of Grizzle’s main goals as director.

“I would like to see it grow hopefully to a larger group and possibly try to incorporate even high school-aged kids all the way through adults of all ages,” Grizzle said. “I’d like to see a very diverse group of singers. … I think that’d be really cool.”