Student-led show choir to hold spring concert


Laura Testino

Audiences have the opportunity to enjoy renditions of a variety of musical numbers in “An Evening with Resonance: A Spring Revue,” the spring concert produced by student-led show choir Resonance.

The show will include acts inspired by Disney, Mumford & Sons and everything in between, incorporating performances by both the full group and smaller groups.

Morgan Mullen, a junior majoring in human development and family studies, is the president of Resonance. She said she is excited to see new opportunities unfolding for the group this year. In years past, Resonance has worked on separate shows for the fall and the spring, but after being invited to FAME, a national show choir competition held in Orlando, Fla., later this semester, the group decided to perfect one set of musical numbers throughout the year for the competition.

“Definitely being offered the opportunity to go to FAME is a big deal, because we didn’t do any sort of outreach for that,” Mullen said. “They found us and invited us to come. So that was one of those moments like, ‘Oh my gosh, somebody has seen us. We aren’t just in Alabama anymore.’”

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Mullen auditioned for Resonance as a freshman and has been president throughout her second and third years as a member. She said she sees the program as a great way for students of all majors to balance performance opportunities with other academics, even though this year has required more involvement.

“I’ve always loved to perform,” she said. “I wasn’t ready to just completely let it go when I got to college. This was supposed to be a low-key way for me to keep doing it, but it’s kind of turned into a little bit more high-octane.”

Garrett Lindsey, a senior majoring in choral music education, has also held leadership positions in the group, including the position of director during his sophomore and junior years. Lindsey is now student teaching but is still an active member of Resonance. He said he believes the changes implemented this year have contributed greatly to the group’s growth.

“One thing we tried to do this year is to incorporate as many leaders as possible,” Lindsey said. “We tried to have section leaders that had a very big job, and we tried to have more dance captains than we usually have – more people choreographing – and we split secretary and treasurer to have two separate officers. We’ve found that the more people in the group that can find a way to take responsibility for the group, the better things run and the more people invest in it.”

Although Lindsey is a music major, he said he has appreciated having Resonance as an opportunity to branch into different music areas rather than working strictly with the classical music he is accustomed to studies being a part of an ensemble with students of a variety of majors has fostered a distinct environment, different from other musical groups, he said.

“If it wasn’t for Resonance, [some students] would not have an outlet musically,” Lindsey said. “I think sometimes that creates a great environment that you don’t necessarily see with other ensembles on campus, because everybody is there because they want to be there, 100 percent. It’s not a class. It’s something we do for fun and for enjoyment. [Resonance] becomes like a family for everyone.”

Steven Vuong, a sophomore majoring in nursing, auditioned for Resonance his freshman year and said he is thankful he made that decision. He was a participant in All-State Show Choir in high school, an opportunity that lent only nine days of show choir performance before his participation with Resonance.

“Everything we do, we do as a group,” Vuong said. “Since we’re all performing as a group, it’s like a family almost. Performing, singing, dancing, partner work, every aspect is just amazing. It’s really fun. It’s a good stress reliever. You can just let it go and just go all out.”

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Vuong said he values the dedication he sees from the other students in Resonance and particularly the passion exhibited by the student leaders. Faculty advisor Paul Houghtaling, assistant professor of voice, said he has been impressed with the group’s growth as well. He is available for advice and moral support as needed but said he sees Resonance as a group that is primarily, if not completely, student-run.

“I’ve seen growth from year to year,” Houghtaling said. “They always try to learn from their performances and improve upon them, both vocally and physically, finding the right balance between dance and singing.”

Houghtaling said he still plans to attend some of Resonance’s concerts each year to see its growth in performance. Mullen said she hopes that all audience members appreciate the variety and the group’s interpretation of some favorite classics at their spring concert.

“There’s something that appeals to everyone, and there’s something really cool about seeing a song that you know so well done by a group of 40 people in four parts,” she said.

“An Evening with Resonance: A Spring Revue” will be held in Moody Music Building Recital Hall on Friday. Tickets are available for $5 at the door and will be collected as a fundraiser for the group’s trip to Orlando for the FAME competition.

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