By Kate Daly | Special to the Almanac
A local group of 10 women will be singing their hearts out this holiday season, starting with caroling on Nov. 30 at some local assisted living facilities before fanning out to make public appearances.
The Merlot Notes formed last year out of a mutual love for singing and performing. All of the women are in their 40s and 50s and take time out of their busy family lives to meet every week and sing a cappella over a glass of wine.
As member Karen Gilhuly of Woodside puts it, "Singing is a lifelong pursuit and doing it in groups brings you happiness at any age."
The Merlot Notes will perform at Filoli's Holiday Traditions event on Wednesday, Dec. 2, from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., and at Allied Arts Guild on Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon to 1 p.m.
The group is putting on a free holiday concert at Valley Presbyterian Church in Portola Valley at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 13.
Donations will be collected at the door to support the local girls' choir program, iSing. The Merlot Notes' musical director Jennah Delp-Somers helped start the program and has invited some of the girls to join in the holiday concert.
The members are Karen Gilhuly and Kathy Hovsmith of Woodside; Barbara Fies Brady, Alyson Illich and Deborah Romani of Portola Valley; Maren Stever Park, Charlene Mattos and Julie Ann Min of Menlo Park; Alisa Mallari Tu of Redwood City; and Marion Robertson of Los Altos Hills.