Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Champlain Valley Voices sing at Giltz

By Siena Pacheco

Champlain Valley Voices, a community ensemble based in Plattsburgh, is presenting “Broadway Stage and Screen,” a choral concert at Giltz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall. Consisting of about 45 community singers, this concert will feature selections from popular musicals, including “Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sweeney Todd.” 

The concert will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 7, under the direction of Timothy Morningstar and accompanied by pianist and SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus Ryan Mahony. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children. SUNY Plattsburgh students will get in free with a student ID. Champlain Valley Voices is excited to bring a concert of dynamic and sophisticated choral arrangements to the area.

The organization is unique in that the ensemble doesn’t require an audition to join; they just require a love of music and a willingness to learn.

“This is a performance you will not want to miss,” Valerie Bruhn, president of Champlain Valley Voices, said. 

The concert is being presented as the organization’s spring performance, highlighting the dedication of the group of singers who aspire to bring high-quality music to the North Country.

With a history of performances, this concert will focus only on Broadway and Disney songs. 

A switch in repertoire and genres of music encourages audience members to hear a joy-filled afternoon that includes some of Broadway’s most classic songs. 

“The chorus is excited for the change in routine from doing traditional chorus pieces,” LeAnn Yelton, a member of the board and a featured soloist in the upcoming concert, said. 

While these arrangements are difficult, Yelton said “it is quite the thrill for them to perform a high caliber of music.”

The program will feature both the chorus as a whole and soloist performances. The music set list consists of a “Phantom of the Opera Medley” and “Les Miserables Medley,” both arranged by Ed Lojeski. “Sondheim! A Choral Celebration” and “Disney Dazzle! Medley,” were both arranged by Mac Huff.

This concert follows “our highly successful performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in December,” Morningstar said. “I am delighted to conduct a concert of contemporary Broadway music.” 

This electric program has music for everyone in the chorus and for the audience. Morningstar decided to change up the genre of music to diversify the group’s appreciation of music and bring something new and different to the North Country.

Weaved in between the choral pieces, Mo Raville will perform “I Feel Pretty” from “West Side Story” and “If I Loved You” from “Oklahoma!” In addition, Yelton will be performing the solos “Children Will Listen” from “Into the Woods” and “Journey to the Past” from “Anastasia.” 

“I am excited for another community organization to be showcasing some musical theater,” Yelton said. “The choir has a wide range of genre abilities, and I think this concert will highlight that.” 

Raville, a soprano, has returned to the Plattsburgh area after studying music at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania. Yelton is a mezzo-soprano, who studied at SUNY Plattsburgh. Both Raville and Yelton were the featured female soloists in the December 2022 performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”

The Plattsburgh community will get direct insight into the many talented members of the community and a front-row seat to some of Broadway’s most famous pieces. 

“These are very sophisticated arrangements of popular musical theater repertoire, which will have something for everyone in the audience,” Morningstar said. 

Additional information can be found on the Champlain Valley Voices website at champlainvalleyvoices.org. 

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