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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 24, 2016

5/7/2013 2:07:00 PM
Verde Valley Voices Spring Concert 2013 with Yavapai College Community Chorale The Power of Song
By David Kanowsky
Special to Verde Valley Newspapers, Inc.

The power of song pervades our existence, in all cultures, and for all conditions.  We sing songs of sadness, of joy, of fun and of deep meaning.  Music has the power to enhance drama or tragedy or humor or worship.  The Verde Valley Voices, under the direction of Beverly Hall and with the piano artistry of Nancy Bright presented a collection of songs to illustrate and demonstrate that power. The concert was enriched by the participation of the Yavapai College Community Chorale, directed by Dr. Will Fisher. The concert was held at the Mingus Union High School auditorium and the event was very well attended.  There were few empty seats!

The opening number of the concert had both choruses join in tribute to the theme of the day, The Power of Song.  The following two songs were moving and inspirational with Joanna Westling performing a vocal solo and Jason Sloan presenting an oboe solo for the  poignant, "You Raise Me Up."

The presenting of colors by the Civil Air Patrol - Cottonwood Cadet Squadron 212, served to introduce a sequence of songs of gratitude for our country and for the unsung heroes in our history.  Dr. Fisher led his chorale in a trio of songs with spiritual tones, including the musical rendering of "O Captain, My Captain" - from Walt Whitman's poem lamenting the death of Abraham Lincoln.   Their third song was the piece made popular by Pete Seeger and the Weavers, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." The chorus and the audience clapped and swayed, totally infused with the rhythm of the song.

The last segment of the program was highlighted by the rousing, perky, "A Place in the Choir." That included soloes by baritone Dennis Hartley and guitarist Mike Raber, with a display of comical line dancing in the aisle performed by a small troupe of costumed members of the Yavapai College Chorale.

The concert was concluded with The Verde Valley Voices singing their signature song, Let There Be Peace on Earth, as touching as ever.  A sustained standing ovation from the large audience motivated an encore, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing. It was a joyous closing to the concert.

I have praised Beverly Hall and Nancy Bright many times for all their efforts and artistry with The Verde Valley Voices and I hope they continue many times more.  I will never tire of saying how

We look forward to the annual Christmas concert, with rehearsals starting in September.  The Verde Valley Voices  is open to anybody who wants to sing.  There is no audition and no age constraint. The youngest singer that was on stage, 12-year-old Joanna Westling, has been with the chorus for several years now and besides her lovely voice and presence, she represents the breadth of community involvement in our musical treasure, The Verde Valley Voices.

Taylor Waste

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