Phenomenal high school choir to blow roof off local church with ‘Music Man’ and more.
The Clover High School Choraliers are headed to Beaufort to perform a free concert, and according to those in the know, you’ve never heard anything like this before.
“The Clover Choraliers are a result of what can happen when a school district and community get behind a special program,” says Vic Varner, music director at First Presbyterian Church, which is co-sponsoring the upcoming concert in Beaufort with St. John’s Lutheran.
“To quote their former superintendent, Betty Riddle, they are the ‘flagship’ of Clover School District,” says Varner, who retired a few years ago as music teacher and choral director at Beaufort High School. “I’ve been to several national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, where we supposedly hear the best choirs in the world. . . . but frankly, I’ve never heard anything better than the Choraliers. They are a phenomenon within South Carolina’s public school musical organizations.”
A 115-member auditioned SATB choir, the Clover High School Choraliers have placed first at the South Carolina Music Educators State Choral Festival ten times in the last twelve years. Composed of freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, the choir is known for the wide variety of music they perform, including classical and master works, jazz, musical theatre, and commercial music. The Choraliers produce three full-length productions every year, featuring a formal Christmas concert with a fully costumed, staged Holiday revue, as well as a complete Broadway musical and a Candlelight Classics concert in the spring. The group also performs in 2-3 regional competitions and at additional local appearances annually. They have performed for the SC State Administrators Conference, the SC School Board Conference, the National Education Association SC Conference, and for the governor of South Carolina. The group has appeared at choral festivals in Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL, Williamsburg, VA, New York City, on the Bahamas/Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and as a special guest with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
And now, their spring tour brings them to Beaufort. Music lovers of all types and stripes are encouraged to come out and experience the magic.
Jay Forrest has been directing the Choraliers for 21 years now. He says his main focus with the choir has always been precision in tuning and advanced tone quality, along with attention to detail with text.
What makes a Choraliers concert so exciting? According to Forrest, “It is the culmination of 115 high school voices coming together after hours of preparation with awesome choral literature ranging from sacred to secular.”
This year, the Choraliers performed the entire score of “The Music Man” for their spring musical, and they’ll be doing several of those beloved numbers at their concert in Beaufort, along with other popular favorites. As for sacred music, Forrest says the audience can look forward to “Hallelujah” by Beethoven, “O Magnum Mysterium” by Mortin Lauridsen, “Hold On” by Moses Hogan, and a wonderful piece called “Evening Prayer” by Ola Gjeilo, featuring saxophone.
The Clover High School Choraliers will perform at St. John’s Lutheran Church onLady’s Island, Thursday, May 28th at 7 pm. The concert is free and everybody’s welcome.