At the 39th annual Christmas Concert by the Fairfield Harbour Chorus, residents may want to
take note of two singers in the back row of the second soprano section. They have been
singing together for 31 years, making this duo the longest in chorus history.
Linda Lelli and Inge Parker have been members of the chorus since 1992 and have never
been separated from each other in their singing positions. Linda joined in time for the spring
concert in 1992 and Inge joined the chorus for the Christmas concert that year. The two
singers established a friendship that has endured over the years and through many changes
in the chorus and the Harbour.
Both Linda and Inge were original members of the Harbour Belles, which was a small
women's choral group (7-9 members) started by Jan Gronosky over 25 years ago at the
request of Pat Rivett. The intent was to have this group provide entertainment during the
intermission of the chorus’s concerts and a smaller group to perform at places and events
outside the Harbour. Over the years they performed at nursing/assisted living facilities and
organization luncheons and dinners with programs of show tunes and other audience
favorites. The group disbanded in 2017 after the leader and other singers moved away.
The close friendship between these two women is a true treasure that Inge and Linda have
enjoyed and cherished. When describing their friendship over the years, both say that they
have always been there for one another through different life changes. Inge said that during
the loss of her husband, Linda was “her rock,” and she also helped her when her home was
flooded during Hurricane Florence. When they both moved here 32 years ago, they were
eager to become part of a group and the chorus became a common bond and other interests.
Like many friendships, they are alike but different in so many ways. Inge is an avid birder,
and Linda laughs, “I’m not even sure what some birds are!”
Through the Fairfield Harbour Yacht Club and along with their husbands, Linda and Inge
enjoyed cruising with their trawlers to many places. The two couples were good friends, but it
was the friendship of the two women that cemented the relationship. When they went on two-
week cruise trips together, they recalled, “This was when we really got to know each other.”
When reflecting on the years, Linda and Inge have so many memories of what they have
been through, including New Neighbors, Investment Club, singing, bike riding, boat cruising
together, and cultivating this enduring friendship.
Linda and her husband moved here from Northern Virginia in 1992 and Inge and her husband
moved here from Long Island. Inge is originally from Germany and became a US citizen on
February 17, 2012. Both women are active community members, with Linda being active in
golf, the Christmas Angel Program, Relay for Life Team, and her alter ego, Foxxy the Clown.
Inge helped organize the much-loved program Caroling for the Home-bound in the early 90s,
volunteered with the Hospital Auxiliary, was involved with the Garden Club, and especially
During their tenure in the chorus, Linda and Inge have worked with Pat Rivett and Terry
Knickerbocker as directors. Terry pointed out that Inge and Linda are talented singers and
rarely miss a practice and he commented, “It’s people like Linda and Inge that make directing
the best thing I have ever done.”
The 50-member Fairfield Harbour Chorus will present its 39th annual Christmas Concert on
Friday, December 8, and Monday, December 11, at 7:00 pm in the Fairfield Harbour
Community Center and Sunday, December 10, at 3:00 pm at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in
New Bern. They will also sing for the residents of Homeplace on December 6th. The concerts
will consist of the always-favorite audience sing-along and some other favorites that the
chorus has not performed, including “It’s the Holiday Season” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep
Me Warm.” Chorus members contribute a huge commitment of time and talent with at least
40 practices, and, for this concert, some will provide props to entertain the audience.
Fairfield Harbour residents have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy music and get into the
holiday spirit when they hear this wonderful chorus one time or more. Don’t miss it!!