Voca Lyrica to present spring concert on June 7
BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids choral group Voca Lyrica is set to perform musical pieces depicting the color, diversity and patriotism of America.
"We Hear America Singing" is the theme of the 14th annual spring concert, slated for 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, at the Big Rapids High School auditorium. Songs include "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "No Time," "An American Anthem," "This Train," and more.
"The music in this concert is reminiscent of our musical heritage," said Ginny Kerwin, Voca Lyrica director. "I believe our audience will enjoy the variety of the programming in addition to being able to relate to the music on a personal level."
The concert will feature pianist Sheryl Iott, the Big Rapids Area Youth Choir and Big Rapids High School Belle Voce & Serenade.
In addition, a family roots band called Lake Effect will join the Voca Lyrica ladies. The group is from northern Michigan featuring Tiyi Schippers on lap dulcimer and percussion, her husband, David Bunce, on guitar and banjo, son, Zak Bunce, on doghouse bass, and good friends Barry Lempe, on guitar and kazoo, and Bruce Ling, also of the group Hawks and Owls, on fiddle, mandolin and flat-picked guitar. The group has performed across Michigan for nearly 30 years.
"I am extremely honored and excited to share the stage with music makers whose passion and love for singing and creating music matches that of Voca Lyrica," Kerwin added.
Big Rapids resident Donna Drake has been a member of Voca Lyrica since the group began 14 years ago and sings second alto. She loves being a part of the group and is happy with the selection of music set to be performed at the spring concert.
"I love singing all of the close women's harmonies," Drake said. "I think the variety of all the musical styles keeps us interested, as well."
Her favorite songs include "No Time" because of its powerful contrast and "Music in My Mother's House" because the lyrics are very relatable to her.
"I think the audience will like the variety of the music we present and they'll also like the other groups involved in the concert," Drake added. "It's fun to help Ginny create her artistic vision. She's an inspiration to all of us and a powerful musical visionary in Big Rapids."
Kerwin said the group also will present a donation to Women's Information Service, Inc., to support its important work empowering individuals and families to create violence free communities in Mecosta, Osceola and Newaygo counties.
Tickets can be purchased from a Voca Lyrica member, Patterson's Flowers, the Old Pioneer Store and Emporium, Great Lakes Books and Supply or at the door before the concert.
"One of the greatest challenges facing the conductor of a choir is to choose repertoire that impacts the singers both intellectually and emotionally, as well as the audience," Kerwin said. "I believe that the music in this concert will inspire singers and the audience to face tomorrow with a renewed sense of pride in our diverse heritage, and will leave us all with a greater understanding of the importance that music plays in expressing what is good and right about the world."