Matthew Strother News editor
October 17, 2013
The Troup High School choral department’s fall concert, “Sing!”, Monday will serve as a crossover event for new director Kathy Kirby.
The opening song, “Sing,” will begin with a combination of Kirby’s current choral students at THS and some of her former elementary students from Long Cane and Berta Weathersbee, where she taught music for 17 years and 10 years respectively. Faculty, staff and students from her two former schools are also special guests for the show, and receive dedication for it.
As the theme of her first concert for THS, Kirby wanted to make a show with songs that celebrated music and the art of song, but “eventually just picked some fun songs.” The title song still represents the joy of singing, and the second song, “Georgia on my Mind,” is the state song.
Many of the songs represent those that Kirby felt the audience would just enjoy. They run from contemporary song “Home” by Phillip Phillips, which was a popular choice with the choral students, to the movie tune “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to classical, jazz and swing songs.
Kirby said she wanted to make the show enjoyable for all attendees, not just those who are musicians or parents of children. However, she also wanted to make things a little challenging and different, especially for her advanced students.
“We chose some harmonies that feel fresh, real different,” Kirby said.
Music teacher Robin Treadwell, THS band director Johnny Hurd, accompanist Eve McKibben, Nate Perry and musicians from the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra also are contributing to concert. Kirby said adding the guest musicians helps make the concert more fun, and she was grateful for their collaboration.
“I wanted it to be enjoyable,” Kirby said. “That’s why I got them involved.”
Originally, fitting with Kirby’s underlying crossover theme, retired choral director Bettie Biggs was going to contribute, but had a last-minute conflict. Biggs has been involved in preparations for the concert.
Kirby said the THS choral program was built up by Biggs and the seniors she inherited this year are “definitely Bettie’s children.” Students show a level of perfectionism and professionalism toward the chorus that reflect Biggs’ work.
About 130 students are in the choral program and will be a part of “Sing!” Those include students Kirby taught during her time at Berta Weathersbee and Long Cane elementary schools. So, for her, the concert will be something new and something familiar.
The Troup High School choral department presents its fall choral concert on Monday in the Troup High School Fine Arts Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.