Flowers are blooming… the countdown to graduation has begun. It must be time for the Beaufort High School Voices Spring Show! For the 7th year, this exceptional choral ensemble will wow us with their complex harmonies, rich sound and flat-out beautiful singing.
The concert tops off a demanding semester for the 70-voiced ensemble. In February, Eighteen Voices traveled to New York to a vocal jazz festival at Lincoln Center. Top vocal jazz ensembles from high schools and colleges across the country gathered for three days to sing with and learn from each other. The singers received instruction from highly respected vocal jazz musicians, including the festival’s artistic director, Steve Zegree. Just 3 weeks later, twenty of the singers packed their bags for Rock Hill where they joined in a weekend of master instruction and performing as part of the prestigious South Carolina All-State Choir.
Fast-forward one week, and it’s show time again as the Voices join the Duke Symphony Orchestra for their 6th joint performance. Only 3 weeks and 4 days later the group will be ready to entertain us with their semester finale, the Voices’ popular Spring Show.
According to Vic Varner, Voices director and head of Beaufort High’s Vocal program, “Rehearsals will be intense as we fine-tune our performances. But these kids are dedicated and know what it takes. To see their faces when they understand the potential that a song offers, or when they first pull off a difficult chord or phrase —-all the hard work is so worth it for them and for me.”
The program for the spring show will be upbeat, including two jazz sets. “A lot of effort was invested by the whole class, not just those who participated in the jazz festival, and so much learning took place about the complexity and nuances of vocal jazz,” says Varner. “I feel we just have to share this with the community.” The singers will perform pieces arranged by Gene Puerling and Steve Zegree, both known for their challenging arrangements. The program is built around familiar melodies with exciting harmonic twists. Among the songs are “On A Clear Day,” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” “In My Life,” “Just in Time,” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.”
A staged medley of tunes from The Wizard of Oz will finish off the concert. Varner says he looks forward to tapping the technology capabilities of the new Arts Center at Beaufort High in this part of the show. BHS Senior Madelyn Johnson who has performed with the Voices for four years, will solo on “Over the Rainbow.” 2010 is the 70th anniversary of the film release of the noted movie; Harold Arlens’s timeless score for the film is being performed by many ensembles in honor of this milestone. The song Over the Rainbow has been proclaimed “the Song of the Century” in a list developed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The concert will be performed at 8 PM Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, April 13 and 14 at The Arts Center at Beaufort High School. Tickets are $7 and are available at the door. For more information call 322-2173 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.