Collaboration Gives Voice to "Singin' at the U" at A&M International

An innovative collaboration will bring the sounds of sweet voices to the Great Room at Texas A&M International University Saturday, April 24 at 8 p.m.

"Singin' at the U," is the third in a continuing series of musical University benefits and will help fund the growing chorale program at A&M International. Admission will be $15 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available from members and at the door.

The evening performance will feature the combined talents of the Laredo Philharmonic Chorale (LPC), Texas A&M International University Chorale, V.M.T. Magnet School Choir, Martin High School Choir, Nixon High School Choir, United High School Choir, Alexander High School Choir and the Cigarroa High School Choir.

Fritz Gechter, assistant professor of music at A&M International and the event's pianist, will be joined in the effort by Billy Wayne Craven, conductor of the LPC; Paul Foster, percussion and Bill Normandan, bass.

Gechter said the effort is as much a result of shared minds as it is of obvious shared talents and love of music.

"Billy Craven, Paul Foster and Bill Normandan have been tremendously helpful in this initiative and I believe it's one of the most fulfilling music undertakings we've all shared," Gechter said.

Gechter said the collaboration is indicative of the University's efforts to develop its new chorale program. He praised the generosity of the Laredo Philharmonic Chorale which opened its doors to A&M International and area high school students, giving them the opportunity to sing with an exceptional community choir.

"This has been a truly innovative collaboration that we think sings volumes for what we are trying to do in developing a choral program here at the University. This collaboration is affording our students tremendous rehearsal and performance opportunities and helping to introduce other chorale groups and members to the developing performing arts at A&M International, " Gechter said.

Gechter said he has been impressed with all participants in this collaborative effort, but especially noted the effort of high school chorale directors.

"We salute the efforts they have gone to in providing their students this opportunity and sharing their talents with us. We believe there are some impressive voices within this collaborative and we look forward to showcasing them," Gechter said.

He said Saturday's performance will provide a rich musical program that embraces the diversity of its participants.

"We'll have everything from the Broadway melodies of "West Side Story" and "Chess, " and the familiar strains of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" to romantic ballads like "When I Fall in Love" and the orchestral rock of "Bohemian Rhapsody," he explained.

Gechter said that he is looking forward to the University's construction of its $15 million Fine and Performing Arts Center and the expansion of available cultural activities that the facility will make possible.

"It's going to be a state-of-the art facility for our students and a wonderful venue to showcase the marvelous range of arts and cultural activities Los Dos Laredos," he noted.

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