My first Show & Tell Reviewer assignment this year was the Fox Cities Choral Music Festival – a performance that I had heard about for all of the years of its existence (this was the eighth year), but had never attended. So I was much looking forward to seeing the high school students from Appleton West, Chilton, Freedom, and Neenah at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center on October 25, 2011.
I was definitely not disappointed. I took a friend of mine along as my companion, and she enjoyed the production greatly also. So the show got two big “thumbs ups” from us.
The first part of the show was performances by the four individual high school groups in the order listed above. Each group performed several numbers under their individual directors. My friend and I were both struck by the fact that each of the groups included songs that had African roots – very cool! Three of the four directors were women – my personal favorite being the director from Chilton, who wore a sparkling sequined top and bright red shoes!
After intermission, we were treated to the combined choirs singing under the direction of Dr. Jerry Blackstone from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance. What an awesome sight it was to see the massed choirs giving their full attention to Blackstone, who played the group like a fine violin. In addition to his work at the University of Michigan, Blackstone received two Grammy Awards in February 2006.
All in all, this was a GREAT evening of choral music, showcasing four of the many fine high school choral groups that exist in our area. My best endorsement is that I plan to attend again next year. Throughout the evening, I kept thinking that the groups were definitely providing “joyful noise” as is described in Psalm 100. The young people and the Boldt Arts Alive Series are to be congratulated for this wonderful performance!