Seward County Community College/Area Technical School vocal instructor Magda Silva, far left, directs the Singing Saints Concert Choir during a number in a recent rehearsal for the upcoming Spring Concert. The May 1 concert will begin at 7 p.m. and will also feature the college’s concert band. L&T photo/Elly Grimm
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
For those looking to get in a bit of culture as well as support the Seward County Community College/Area Technical School music department, look no further than Thursday night.
The SCCC/ATS music department will be giving its annual spring concert tomorrow night beginning at 7 p.m. in the Showcase Theater of the Shank Humanities building. The concert will be featuring both the concert band and the Singing Saints Concert Choir.
Tickets are $3, proceeds of which will be going back into the scholarship fund for the music department.
“Three dollars isn’t a lot for what you’re going to get – a full hour and a half of good music, and it supports the kids,” said Magda Silva, the vocal instructor at SCCC/ATS.
The 20-piece choir, which will also be hosting a couple of volunteers, will be be performing seven pieces for their portion. Silva said the best part of the rehearsal process has been watching the choir members grow musically.
“The majority of them are not readers, the don’t read music, they’re not music majors or band members so…most of these guys are everything else – business, psychology, engineering – so this is actually a really neat group to bring in there,” she explained. “I think out of the choir of 20, probably there’s about 7 who can pick up the music and go and the rest of them have been learning that process so that’s been fun to watch them grow as far as being able to learn that.”
Silva admits however that there have been parts of the rehearsal process have been somewhat exasperating, including leaving the concert music behind for a month because they were invited to sing with the choir at Oklahoma Panhandle State University and an orchestra for a masterworks performance at the beginning of the semester.
“When we left it, it was at a really good level and when we came back to it, it was not at that same level and it’s interesting because we think ‘oh it’s just choir, it should be an easy-peasy class, a blow-off class’ but what they don’t realize is that you have to have dedication and diligence and that you have to take it home and practice,” she said. “Now today was a really great rehearsal and I saw a lot of lights go off like ‘oh this is going to rock, this is going to be fun.’”
The concert band is also set to take the stage for the concert. Band instructor Darin Workman said that his students’ attitude is always good, which allows for a lot of progress toward the performance. The group began rehearsal on the pieces immediately upon returning from Christmas break.
“They all have such good senses of humor and the way I conduct and the way I operate class, there really hasn’t been a change. It’s always the same and I’ve always tried to do that with my groups that the concert is really not what you’re working towards, it’s just an ending to the music,” Workman said of his students. “That’s the easy part, the concert. All the hard work and getting ready is really, you know, that class part of it, but the performance is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and there shouldn’t be a lot of stress or pressure.”
The nearly 20-piece concert band will be performing four pieces for its portion with a guest joining the group on two of the songs.
Both Silva and Workman say they expect to not only have a generous audience the night of the performance but also for the students to be able to relax and put on a great concert for the community.
“Really, my expectation is that the kids just keep doing what they’ve been doing all semester – stay relaxed, play to the best of their ability, watch me and make sure I conduct correctly but also have fun – music’s not supposed to be a job to them and I don’t want them to treat it like a final,” Workman said. “I want them to have fun, I want them to enjoy themselves, I want them to get done with the concert and feel like they really accomplished something during the semester.”