This season the Sedalia Chorale is seeing positive changes: an increase in members, a new “break-out” group of 12 singers, a fall concert and a planned spring extravaganza that will feature the compilation of several musical groups.
Instead of performing a Christmas concert this year, the Chorale will present “A Musical Harvest” Nov. 21 and Director Britt Faaborg said he is pleased with how the season is shaping up. He’s especially excited the group has grown substantially.
“… There’s been some changes, and we’ve had a huge influx of people for this year,” he said.
Chorale membership has shot up from 25 people last year to 40 this year.
“It’s the largest it’s been in quite a few years,” he said. “Last year we were struggling with about 25. We’ve gained a bunch of new people and they’re just really good. I can’t say enough good things about them. The sound is just tremendous.
“We’re really looking forward to this concert,” he added. “I’m hoping people that come to it will be pleasantly surprised at the caliber of the group. There’s been some times where it’s been thin in parts (previously), but I think with the influx of people, it’s just really given some strength to the group.”
Faaborg said there were possibly a number of reasons so many people joined the Chorale this year.
“No. 1 we took out the auditions or voice placement,” he noted. “That just really scared some people away. So, I think that helped.”
They also had people join that were totally new to singing in a community group, with several singers joining from the Benton County area.
“We’ve had two or three people from Cole Camp that have come into the group this year,” he added. “It’s kind of like someone said, ‘It’s a new beginning and let’s see where this will go.’”
Faaborg co-directed with Mike Grove last year; this is his first year to direct the Chorale alone.
The upcoming concert is a “montage” of several different types of music, he added.
“We’re not staying with one genre,” he said. “We’re doing some of the heavier stuff, but then we’re also doing some of the lighter stuff.”
Faaborg has worked to develop a breakout group of 12 singers this season who will perform a couple songs for the concert the Chorale might not do as a whole.
“One of the songs we’re doing is ‘A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,’ from the Manhattan Transfer arrangement,” he added. “It’s pretty tough. It’s something the entire group wouldn’t be able to do, but the smaller group can. We’re doing another song, ‘Corner of the Sky,’ which is from the musical ‘Pippin.’
“That group has turned out to be a nice, nice asset,” he noted. “It takes the weight off the big group having to do so many numbers.”
The men of the Chorale will also perform a number by themselves, “Kansas City,” from the Broadway musical “Oklahoma!” and the women will perform “Almost Like Being in Love,” from “Brigadoon.”
“We’re doing some show-tunes, mixing them in with the other (music),” Faaborg said.
During the concert the Chorale will also perform three John Rutter numbers along with music from Handel, and Mendelssohn.
“There’s some heavy stuff mixed in, but overall it’s just going to be a really nice mix,” Faaborg said.
The Sedalia Junior Crescendo Choir featuring 12 area children, a newly formed group directed by Faaborg, will be singing during the fall performance too.
“It’s a nice group,” he said. “That’s something that they’re hoping is going to continue. They’re going to do it again in the spring or early summer, somebody else will be directing it then. We’re hoping that it’s something that will build. Those kids are ages 9 to 16; it’s a wide variance of age, but they all work together really well.”
Spring 2016 will see yet another new style of Chorale performance for the group. The performance, to be hosted Saturday, April 30, will be titled “Sedalia Chorale Presents an Evening at the Heckart” and will include several local music groups performing both instrumental and vocal arrangements.
“It’s going to feature the Chorale, but we’re not going to be the sole group,” Faaborg said. “We’re going to have other groups come in. Everybody I’ve talked to is very positive about doing something. What we want to do, is make it an evening where we have several groups and possibly solos that will be featured. We want to make it like a big extravaganza.”
Adding to the excitement of the spring concert, Faaborg said he hopes to possibly have groups perform together that wouldn’t normally.
In December, the Sedalia Chorale will sing with the Sedalia Symphony Orchestra for the Christmas Pops Concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7 at First United Methodist Church Celebration Center, 1701 W. 32nd St.
The fall performance, “The Sedalia Chorale Presents A Musical Harvest,” will be hosted at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21 at Broadway Presbyterian Church, 209 W. Broadway Blvd. The cost is $10 at the door and $9 in advance. Students are free with ID.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.