Washington State University School of Music and Theatre Arts will present a Vocal Extravaganza at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29 in Bryan Hall Auditorium. 

Vocal Extravaganza, an annual event sponsored by the voice/choral area presented as part of Dad’s Weekend at WSU, is a showcase of six varied choral ensembles from the WSU music program that include Madrigal Singers, University Singers, Concert Choir, Opera Workshop, VoJazz and Crimson Revue.

Tickets are $6 general admission and will be available at the door the night of the performance beginning at 6 p.m.

The event will open with the Madrigal Singers, conducted by WSU faculty member Lori Wiest. This select ensemble of 24 singers performs predominantly a cappella music specifically written for chamber ensembles and music of the Renaissance. Dressed in costumes reminiscent of the Renaissance period, they will perform a number of pieces, including “Rise Up, My Love,” “Set Me as a Seal” and three madrigals as a tribute to Renaissance women.
University Singers, directed by WSU faculty member John Weiss, is WSU’s largest choral ensemble with 73 undergraduate and graduate students from across the campus. The group will perform four numbers, including two by Schubert and two selections rooted in African-American musical traditions.

Concert Choir, also conducted by Wiest, will continue the tribute to American music with a jazz arrangement of the well-know African-American spiritual “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” a folk story by French composer Maurice Ravel, a number by American composer Aaron Copland and a gospel selection. The choir is an auditioned mixed ensemble of 54 singers, both undergraduate and graduate students, studying a variety of subjects at WSU. Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers will tour to St. Petersburg, Russia, in March to perform in an international music festival.

The WSU Opera Workshop will perform excerpts from its full program scheduled for 8 p.m. Nov. 18 in Bryan Hall Theatre. The 15 singers, directed by Wieck, will present scenes from three operas — “Falstaff” by Giuseppe Verdi, “Gallantry: A Soap Opera” by 20th century American composer Douglas Moore and “The Telephone” by Gian Carlo Menotti.

VoJazz, the university’s vocal jazz ensemble, will premiere a hip arrangement of the school’s alma mater “Washington, My Washington.” Completing the program will be an arrangement of James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is” and a challenging song recorded by the fusion jazz group Steps Ahead entitled “Oops!”

The concert will conclude with the performance of Crimson Revue, a high-energy singing/dancing troupe, an upbeat performance that includes “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, a medley from the musical “The Wiz” and “You Raise Me Up” recorded by Josh Groban, a special tribute for Dad’s Weekend.

Money raised from ticket sales for this event will be split between all six groups and utilized for musical tours, concert expenses and music purchases.

Later in the semester the Madrigal Singers will present the annual Madrigal Dinner held at the Compton Union Building Dec. 3 and 4. Tickets are $38 each and are available at the Compton Union Building Information Desk or by calling (509) 335-9444. 

For more information on Vocal Extravaganza, contact Wiest at (509) 335-5647 or e-mail to lwiest@mail.wsu.edu.