Smith-Cotton High School fall vocal music concert a study in music genres


By Faith Bemiss - [email protected]



Smith-Cotton High School Junior Morgan Westphal, a member of Acapella Choir, will sing a solo, ”On My Own” from the Broadway hit musical “Les Miserables,” in tonight’s vocal music concert at 7 p.m. in the Heckart Performing Arts Center. The event is free.


SCHS New Score Singers, shown in a “Romeo and Juliet” production last year, will be performing a 1920s arrangement of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” during tonight’s concert.


By Faith Bemiss

[email protected]

Smith-Cotton High School Junior Morgan Westphal, a member of Acapella Choir, will sing a solo, ”On My Own” from the Broadway hit musical “Les Miserables,” in tonight’s vocal music concert at 7 p.m. in the Heckart Performing Arts Center. The event is free.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_TSD102915VocalMusic-1.jpgSmith-Cotton High School Junior Morgan Westphal, a member of Acapella Choir, will sing a solo, ”On My Own” from the Broadway hit musical “Les Miserables,” in tonight’s vocal music concert at 7 p.m. in the Heckart Performing Arts Center. The event is free.

SCHS New Score Singers, shown in a “Romeo and Juliet” production last year, will be performing a 1920s arrangement of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” during tonight’s concert.
http://sedaliademocrat.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_TSD102915VocalMusic-2.jpgSCHS New Score Singers, shown in a “Romeo and Juliet” production last year, will be performing a 1920s arrangement of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” during tonight’s concert.

The Smith-Cotton High School vocal music department will perform this evening in the Heckart Performing Arts Center covering several music genres and presenting both current and classical numbers.

Anna Wooderson, S-C director of vocal music, who is new to the department this year, said the musical performances are going great.

“It’s going really well,” she said. “This is a busy time because we have our fall concert (tonight) … and all of the choirs are going to be performing something.

“We’re hoping to present something for everybody at the concert,” she added. “I think maybe the only genre that won’t be represented might be country. But for the most part we have several different styles of music (and) lots of different kinds of ensembles.”

New Score Singers will be performing Lady Gaga’s song, “Bad Romance,” but with a twist.

“(It’s a) a very contemporary song that’s been rearranged into a 1920s style,” Wooderson said. “It has a very ’20s feel to it, and that’s been really exciting for the kids to get to sing in that style of music. But, the real hook for them is, it’s their music. It’s music that they’re used to hearing on the radio. But, it’s been re-imagined and rearranged.”

Dance numbers for the song have also been arranged with a 1920s theme in mind and will tie into New Score’s total performance for the evening.

“Then Cabaret, they will be performing another popular song,” she added. “Ellie Goulding recorded a song called ‘Burn.’ It’s a song that they would hear on the radio, but it’s been rearranged into a Motown style. So, it’s very Supreme, (it’s) back to the glam Motown. It’s exciting for the kids to get to sing in those different genres, yet it still feels like they have some ownership of it, because it feels like their music.”

Wooderson said everyone has enjoyed working on the musical selections, including herself.

“It’s been so much fun, so much fun,” she added.

During the evening, Broadway Velocity will perform a piece called “15” from “13 the Musical.”

“Which is a Broadway musical about coming of age,” Wooderson said.

She added that it’s about the in-between phase of “being a kid” and becoming an adult.

“… It’s all put to music and it’s super fun,” she said. “Their whole show is just about being a teenager and nerds falling in love. It’s an exciting show for them as well.”

Wooderson has brought back SCHS Acapella Choir this year.

“I was actually a part of Acapella Choir,” she said. “I was a graduate from Smith-Cotton in ‘94, and I was involved in Cabaret, New Score and Acapella Choir. So, I had that combination of education and music where you have the really fun show choir stuff, but then you’ve also got the more traditional stuff that really teaches you the fundamentals and technique of good chorale singing.”

Acapella embraces classical music more often than Broadway music.

“Everything that I have talked about so far have been show choirs,” Wooderson noted. “Show choir encompasses signing, dancing; a different kind of showmanship in performance than Acapella Choir. Acapella Choir is our more advanced concert choir. A concert choir would sing more traditional concert literature.”

Acapella will be singing “Pie Jesu” and “Simple Gifts” and SCHC Junior Morgan Westphal will perform a solo, “On My Own,” from the Broadway musical “Les Miserables.”

“In addition to signing some more traditional concert choir music, we’ve incorporated a song from the Broadway hit ‘Les Miserables’,” she added.

Wooderson is pleased with how the department is shaping up this semester.

“It’s a really exciting time in the department, ” she said. “Anytime there’s a change-over there’s always that question mark of ‘will the department be OK, will the kids be OK, will the music be OK?’ And, we’re all doing more than OK. The kids are singing really well, they are preforming really well and it’s just turned out to be a really great year. “

SCHC’s Fall Vocal Music Concert is at 7 p.m. tonight at the Heckart Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and open to the public.

Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.

Sedalia Democrat

Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.

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