WORTHINGTON - The 120 students of the 2018-19 Worthington High School (WHS) choirs will present a program of mostly light-hearted numbers at their spring concert Monday evening.
Beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the stage of Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, the WHS Varsity and Concert Choirs, both under the direction of Kerry Johnson, will reveal to attendees the fruits of their recent musical labors.
“It’s been a great year with these choirs and we’re pleased to share what we’ve been working on with our audience,” said Johnson. “This is the culmination of all the work they’ve put in.”
Making this concert somewhat singular is the fact that students were given the chance to offer a fair amount of input to its content.
“For the Concert Choir, at least, the pieces were all chosen by the seniors as favorites
they’ve performed over the years,” said Johnson.
That includes two selections sung exclusively by the 21 choristers in the WHS Class of ’19: “Do You Make Me Proud” and an a cappella version of the Beatles’ “In My Life.”
The Varsity Choir’s 50 singers will perform an a cappella Andy Beck arrangement of Bruno Mars’ sweet “Count On Me,” along with “Down to the River to Pray,” “Glorious” by Stephanie Mabey and the up-tempo, rhythmically rousing “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Freddie Mercury.
“It’s been fun to see the Varsity Choir students grow as musicians this year, and I’m really excited about what they’re doing as an ensemble,” credited Johnson.
Her 70-voice Concert Choir, comprised almost entirely of upper classmen, is set to sing
Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu” (a Swahili adaptation of “The Lord’s Prayer”), as well as the ethereally lovely “Flight Song” by Kim André Arnesen, Nick Myers’ “Jenny” and “A Million Dreams” from “The Greatest Showman.”
“‘Jenny’ is an absolutely beautiful piece that’s a favorite of the students,” said Johnson. “It’s kind of a tear-jerker that sings like a parent remembering a lost child, trying to process grief.
“And the music from ‘The Greatest Showman’ is fantastic, with the movie’s message itself being inspirational and talking about how we have the power to create the world we envision,” she added.
“The kids relate well to it.”
Two smaller, select ensembles - the male Vox and the female Bel Canto - are also in the
lineup. For several months, those groups have met weekly for 7:10 a.m. rehearsals, demonstrating the participating students’ fine arts commitment.
In their entirely a cappella set, Bel Canto will deliver “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry, “Hero” from the 1980s “Footloose” soundtrack and “The Way You Are/Just a Dream” from the movie “Pitch Perfect.”
“We have 21 young women in Bel Canto and 18 young men in Vox,” said Johnson.
Vox’s two numbers are Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” and the jazzy “Come Fly with Me,” popularized in 1958 by Frank Sinatra.
“And we’ll be acknowledging our 21 graduating seniors, as we typically do,” assured Johnson. “Everyone involved is really looking forward to sharing our spring repertoire with an audience on Monday evening.”
The Worthington High School spring choral concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Monday at
Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center, 714 13th St., Worthington. There is an
admission fee; ISD 518 activity passes and student IDs will also be honored.