Concert to feature video, collaboration

by Mac Emery | 10/14/14 4:03pm

A Saturday concert showcasing varied voices — including current and former members of Gospel Choir, the Rockapellas and Glee Club as well as former Dartmouth Idol participants — will take the place of the Gospel Choir’s traditional fall concert.

Gospel Choir director Walt Cunningham organized the event, “Dartmouth Sings!” The choir chose to work with the two other vocal groups to bolster interdisciplinary collaboration, Cunningham said.

“On campus, I don’t think we do enough collaborative types of artistic events like this,” Cunningham said. “When we do initiatives like this, my biggest goal is for people to learn the essence of, the power of, diversity.”

Rockapellas member Emma Orme ’15 said she agreed that collaborations are too rare among campus vocal groups.

“[The Rockapellas] function only with one another,” she said. “And we pretty much never get external resources or external opinions on our sound beyond audience members.”

Glee Club will begin the concert with a cappella performances of a spiritual and a classical piece, Cunningham said. The Rockapellas will follow with a rendition of a surprise piece that Cunningham described as modern and recognizable.

The Rockapellas performance will begin purely with the group’s vocals and then introduce an instrumental backing, a technical challenge that Orme said was atypical for the group.

After the Rockapellas, soloist Talene Monahon ’13 will deliver a rendition of “Getting Married Today,” from the 1970 musical “Company.”

“It’s an extremely, extremely difficult piece,” Cunningham said.

Following this, former Dartmouth Idol participants will sing a 10-minute medley arranged by Cunningham, inspired by the pop verve that has helped the competition gain popularity on campus.

Some of these former Dartmouth Idol performers are also current or former Gospel Choir and Rockapellas members and will sing with both groups. Among these performers are Grace Carney ’17 of the Rockapellas and Jeremy Whitaker ’15 of Gospel Choir.

Next, choir members will show off their own brand of spiritual music. Dozens of the group’s alumni will join the performance, said Nate Graves ’13, an artistic consultant to the project.

Following Gospel Choir, the show will debut a music video featuring Dartmouth Idol participants. Cunningham said the show’s organizers “went all out” to put together the video.

A finale will bring the three participating groups and Dartmouth Idol competitors together.

Graves said he is excited to showcase the breadth of Dartmouth’s musical styles.

Rockapellas member Jess Fan ’17 said she expects the concert’s stylistic breadth will attract a larger audience than what each group typically anticipates.

“We are trying to foster an inter-dimensional musical experience, and I think it’s going to appeal a lot to incoming freshmen, for example,” she said.

Orme noted that such crossover experiences are helpful developmentally, as they provide singers with insight from musicians outside their areas of expertise.

The concert will take place Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium.