JSCC gives a nod to rock icon Tina Turner
The Jefferson State Choral Coalition, directed by Kirby Shaw, will celebrate its favorite songs and a few new ones at its Spring Fling concert.
The 60-member choir is made up of singers from the community and students from Southern Oregon University.
"Sometimes we'll get a high school student or two," Shaw says. "Our youngest singer was 11."
Shaw conducts choirs around the world, and he and JSCC have 11 years of singing together to their credit.
He and the choir will present spring concerts at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 31, in the Music Recital Hall on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland.
Tickets cost $10, $5 for students and children, and can be purchased at the SOU Performing Arts box office in the Theatre Arts Building off South Mountain Avenue, at Paddington Station, 125 E. Main St., online at www.jeffersonstatechoralcoalition.com or by calling 541-552-6348.
What are the highlights of these concerts?
"The Jefferson State Moving Company, our dance troupe, will join us for 'Proud Mary,' an electrifying tribute to singer Tina Turner. Dancer and choreographer Markita Shaw will be Tina. She and the other dancers will perform the famous moves that Tina brought to the stage during her career. The tribute also will include Tina's iconic introduction: 'Well, ya know ... Every now and then I think you might like to hear something from us nice and easy ... but there's just one thing ya see ... we neveh ... eveh ... do nothin' nice and easy. We always do it nice and rough.' It's one of the hottest things we've ever done."
What else is in your repertoire?
" 'Open Arms' is a beautiful '80s rock ballad in three-quarter time by Journey; 'Rhythm of the Night' by DeBarge is a hot, Latino piece with a rhythm and horns; 'Ticket to Ride' is a '60s Beatles' love song; 'Zombie Jamboree' is a hilarious send-up of today's zombie craze; 'Saturday Night Fish Fry' is a humorous, '40s swing tune by Louis Jordan; 'To Love You More' is a sweet and tender ballad that was featured on Fox's 'Glee;' 'Still the One' is a pop tune by Orleans; 'Power of Love' is an '80s rocker by Huey Lewis and the News; and we'll conclude the program with one of my originals, 'We Will Sing.' It's a contemporary rock song."
What kind of relationship do you have with the choir?
"I think this may be the best choir we've had in our 11-year history. We're a family. The singers are inspirational to me. Their energy and desire to do well, along with their work ethic, brings the deepest understanding of the songs to audiences. They're a hoot-and-a-half to be with. I tell people that I'm not sure whether I'm going to a rehearsal or a party when I spend time with them.
How have you learned all of these songs?
"We create MP3 practice tracks to ease the learning process. I tell the singers to make these tracks part of their DNA. I find that they can help people who primarily sing by ear to catch up with the sight readers in about three weeks. It's come to me that I am in the people-empowerment business, and choral music is the vehicle. This group is proof of that."