On March 8, 2016, all of WGSS’s very own vocal groups performed in the school’s very own pop concert. From American Authors to the Beatles, from Mark Ronson to Disney, the vocal groups sang the most popular tunes from every decade.
The vocal group members have been practicing the many pop songs since Christmas.The Drama Room was decorated and changed to fit the pop style and chairs were packed with audience members that came to see what the vocal groups had in store for them. Fashionably dressed in plaid, white shirts and blue jeans, choir members entered the drama room and began to sing.
“In truth, what prompted me to do this was because new quality arrangements of pop music were published this year, for choir especially” Mr. Angell, Choir Teacher
Up first and last we had our Concert Choir who sang four songs. The Walnut Grove Concert Choir is the biggest choir group in our school consisting of singers from every grade. These songs included three songs that had been arranged from popular songs of the present (“Uptown Funk”, by Mark Ronson and “I’m Not The Only One”, by Sam Smith). Dongsan Jung (Grade 12) and Joseph Chang (Grade 11) shared the solos in I’m Not the Only One, beautifully expressing the heartbreak one feels from an unfaithful relationship. They also sang an Italian classical crossover called “Nella Fantasia” (by Il Divo), featuring Alice Kim (Grade 12) as a main soloist.
Up next we had the Vocal Jazz, an audition only choir with only 20 members. Their songs included a medley of tunes from different artists at different periods of time, some dating back from the 1900s. Some of the older members of the audience loved the vocal jazz’s reendition of the popular Beach Boys song, “God Only Knows”.
The concert showcased all kinds of vocal talent, including the last winner of Walnut Grove’s Got Talent, Tommy Cho. Known as BeatboxZed, Tommy wowed the audience with his self taught beat boxing skills. He even preformed with the Vocal Jazz for the Pentatonix cover of “Somebody That I Used To Know” (Cover by Pentaonix, Originally by Gotye). The Four Brothers, an all boys quartet, featured choir members Brendon Dixon, Joseph Chang, Michael Yuan and Dongsan Jung to perform “All Of Me” (by John Legend). The ladies in the room were definitely swooning!
The Chamber Choir, another audition only choir with 30 members, sang a variety of songs from the 1900s (“Blackbird” and “Ticket to Ride”, by the Beatles)all the way to the most recent Pentatonix version of the billboard hit, “Say Something”, by A Great Big World. To end off their performance, Mariya Oskam sang the featured solo in “Over The Rainbow”, a song from the family favourite flick, , Wizard of Oz.
“I liked how this concert was different from the other concerts because we could connect to the audience better with popular songs. I hope this won’t be the last pop concert we do!” Sungbin Yim, Grade 9
“This was a great opportunity for everyone to sing in a pop choir concert. Although we couldn’t show out best, we have no regrets! It was a very fun time! UPTOWN FUNK U UP!” Elysia Park, Grade 10
We would like to give special thanks to the music department, Mr. Fawkes and Mr. Angell for making this happen. We would also like to give special thanks to the instrumentalists of the concert concert, Kavin Kadam and Chandan Teja on the trumpet, Sydney Edwards on the tenor sax, Esther Kim on synthesizer, Yu An Chang on the cello, Kyle Radomski (Long and McQuade manager) on the drums, Mr. Fawkes on the bass and Mr. Trattle on the guitar. This performance wouldn’t have been possible without Faith Brownlee and Emma Hacker operating the lights and David Witzke operating the soundboard behind the scenes.
This was not the stereotypical classical choir concert we are used to, but we definitely hope it won’t be the last!