The voices of the School of Music will sound Friday night as five WSU choral and vocal groups perform in the 26th Annual Vocal Extravaganza as a part of Dad’s Weekend.
The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Bryan Hall Theatre. Tickets will be available for purchase on the night of the performance beginning at 6 p.m. in Bryan Hall. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students with ID. Children 12 and under may attend free of charge. Proceeds go to the student ensembles for music, performances, productions and tours.
The WSU Madrigals/Chamber singers, University singers, Concert Choir, Opera Workshop and VoJazz ensembles will be performing directed by Lori Wiest, Dean Luethi and Julie Wieck.
Sheila Converse, clinical assistant professor of music, said she is happy to see the choral and vocal groups perform.
“All of the vocal ensembles perform at the same time, everyone who has anything to do with the voice area is involved,” Converse said. “Students work towards this throughout the semester. It is a great opportunities for families to come watch their children perform.”
The WSU Madrigal and Chamber Singers will start the concert.
“The music for Madrigal and Chamber Singers was selected to fuse spirituality through the Afro-Cuban, Spanish, English and American cultures from Renaissance and Contemporary times,” Wiest said. “While one piece may ask for spirituality for fulfillment of love, one seeks for the spirituality where the ocean meets the river in honor of the goddess of the ocean. The entire program for this portion of the concert is varied in style.”
The WSU University singers take the stage second and will be accompanied by members of the WSU orchestra.
The group will perform selections from “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn, “Precious Lord” by George Allen and Joyce Merman and “I’m Gonna Sing ‘Till the Spirit moves In My Heart” by Moses Hogan.
“As I’m continually trying to challenge this group, I thought it would be wonderful to prepare a couple of choral movements from Mendelssohn’s massive oratorio ‘Elijah’, Luethi said. “The music is challenging as their is a lot of counterpoint.”
The Concert Choir will perform third on the program and will explore a theme of nature and moving from evening to morning, Weist said.
“In ‘The Stars Stand Up in the Air,’ Irish poet Thomas MacDonaugh writes with a depth of loss, speaking to the sense of grief and also of beauty, daring to ask the question if it truly is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all,” she said. “The emotion of the music and text in combination is a perfect reenactment of the feelings any human would have over the loss of a loved one.”
Concert Choir will end with “Beau Soir” by Claude Debussy and “Laughing Song” by David Dickau.
WSU Opera Workshop will be performing scenes from the great 19th century operas “La Cenerentola,” the story of Cinderella, by Gioacchino Rossini and “Falstaff,” based on Shakespeare’s character of the same name, by Giuseppe Verdi, conductor Julie Weick said.
VoJazz, directed by Dean Luethi, will conclude the concert.
The group will feature “Dobbin’s Flowery Vale” arranged by Matt Kalio, “L-O-V-E” by Bert Kaempfert, “Open Invitation” by Darmon Meader and LaurenKinhan and “Africa” by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro.
“L-O-V-E’ was an arrangement by a professor at UW Green Bay, my alma mater,” Luethi said. “What I like about this piece is that it swings hard, but the very close voicing and extended harmonies make this piece a challenge.”
Luethi said while all the selections are not necessarily jazz, the vocalist must use proper technique while they sing to make the best musical expression.
“This is a long standing tradition of presenting the musical performances of the vocal and choral ensembles from the School of Music and is one of our only opportunities to allow these ensembles to share the stage on one spectacular night,” Weist said. “The style of music is varied and of the highest quality in the performance and is sure to be a treat for the eye and the ear and, since Concert Choir is holding a bake sale during the intermission, for the taste buds as well.”