The ensemble VOICES, led by local voice teacher Mark Sheffield under the auspices of his Mark Alan VocalWorks studio, will bring their unique interpretations of classics and new favorites to Hilo. The group’s pianist is Kanako Okita. Showtimes are Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Protestant Church. Admission is free and by donation, with a suggested donation of $10.00. For more information, call 238-6040.
The evening’s program, entitled That’s Life, presents music for ensemble and solo voices both a capella and with piano, especially chosen to highlight the seasons of the year and the seasons of life. From songs which may be new to the audience to beloved classics of stage and screen, the recital brings to life old favorites and new gems. With composers as varied as Eric Whitacre and Lili Boulanger, and songs as varied as the sacred My Song in the Night by Mack Wilberg and Africa by Toto, the concert promises something for every fan of vocal music. Solos and small ensembles intermingle with full ensemble numbers to provide variety and interest.
Mark Sheffield, Tenor and Voice Teacher, began his studio in Hilo over a decade ago. In that time he has given students success in local theater productions and concerts. He has also sent students to further study and to careers in professional theater and music. His work as a voice teacher has been highly regarded for his skill in bringing each singer’s true voice forward. Now, his students make up the personnel of his new group VOICES.
VOICES, a vocal ensemble consisting entirely of students in Sheffield’s Mark Alan VocalWorks studio, gives Sheffield’s advanced students the additional challenge of learning and performing challenging ensemble music within the context of Sheffield’s instruction in vocal technique and interpretation. Last year’s debut concert of the group included staged theatricality as well as new interpretations of songs from classic to modern. VOICES has also performed on the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center stage, featured in recent UH Hilo choral concerts. Beyond this, VOICES and its less formal predecessor has a decade-long history of performing to acclaim at the annual Keaau Christmas Parade.
Asked about how he came to create That’s Life, Sheffield said, “I was inspired by the seasons of life, and how they fit with the four seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. This program takes VOICES and the audience on a life journey through youth to maturity and venerable age. We end with a note of hope and timelessness that surpasses all seasons, whether of weather or life. The concert includes songs in a rich variety of styles designed to showcase the brilliance of the ensemble as well as the theme of the evening.” Sheffield continued, “This concert is our second full-length concert, presented as a gift to our community. We appreciate your support, we welcome your donations toward our future endeavors, and we look forward to seeing you at That’s Life. Please do come and join us in this evening of vocal excellence.”
VOICES: That’s Life comes to Hilo May 12 and 13, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Protestant Church for two shows only. Admission is free and by donation, with a suggested donation of $10.00. Donations accepted at the door. Call 238-6040 for more information.