The Troup High School Choral Department is set to present its spring concert, “Season of Love” this weekend.
The concert involves 125 choral students encompassing four different choirs under the direction of Bettie Biggs. The choral department accompanist is Eve McKibben and the percussionist is band director Johnny Hurd. Returning for her third year at Troup High School is guest choreographer Angela Anderson, Lafayette Ballet School instructor and coordinator.
“Angela Anderson … is one of the most creative and unique individuals in this community” Biggs said. “The majority of our students do not study serious dance and have never danced in public before this concert. She has the ability to stage and choreograph with an ease and originality that engages all of the kids all of the time. They respond to her without hesitation and she has them on stage, dancing, singing and performing in a matter of weeks.”
Students will perform pieces they presented at the Georgia Music Educators Associations Large Group Evaluation, where they received superior ratings in March 2013, and there will be a senior tribute to all graduating seniors by the Cantus Chamber Choir.
Following intermission, a senior “spotlight” features seniors who will individually perform a selected piece of their choice including a piano solo by Virginia Cuartero-Tendero, a THS foreign exchange student from Spain, and solo by baritone Philip Botica, winner of the American High School Honors Chorus at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Students then will perform highlights from the musical “Hairspray,” which features the entire choral department in a uniquely choreographed medley from the award-winning musical. The highlights will feature Anderson’s choreography created for the Troup choral department.
Biggs said she took a group of students to New York City the weekend before spring break and they saw several Broadway shows. The level of production and performance “mesmerized” the students.
“I chose a choral medley from ‘Hairspray’ as the second half of the concert because of its high energy and focus on a period of time which most of these students are not at all familiar – the early 1960s,” Biggs said. “It was a time of innocence but also a time of tremendous change and transition.”
She said the play is significant for the racial themes revolving around its civil rights movement-era setting. Watching the students rehearse for it “with absolutely no thought or consideration of a segregated society, it is rather profound how much our lives have changed since those early years.”
The show will close with a “Seasons of Love” tribute to all choral students and their parents.
“It is a joyous experience when the final product comes to fruition,” Biggs said. “Their success on stage in this setting will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Most will not major in music but hopefully they will be lifelong lovers and supporters of the arts wherever life leads them.”
Being part of the performing arts helps students learn disciplines like routine, cooperation, preparation “and plain old nose to the grindstone hard work,” Biggs added. This will be her last spring show as THS choral director. Biggs retires at the end of the school year.
“There’s an old but wise saying, ‘success is not an accident.’ It’s been my motto for many years,” Biggs said. “Nothing is more satisfying than to see these students succeed through the discipline of the performing arts and to have the opportunity to share this concert with the entire community this weekend.”
The show will be performed in the Troup High School Fine Arts Auditorium on Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 and will be available at the door.