Oct. 26, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wharton County Junior College Band member Sara Gonzales of East Bernard dons a special face covering while rehearsing for the upcoming "A Grab Bag of Music and Songs" concert, scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton campus. Performers and the audience will be required to wear protective face coverings as part of ongoing efforts to lessen the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is free of admission but seats must be reserved prior to the event. Call (979)532-6300 for tickets.
WHARTON, TEXAS – A global pandemic won’t stop the Wharton County Junior College Fine Arts Department from showcasing student talent.
The WCJC Band and WCJC Choir will host a joint performance at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, in the Horton Foote Theatre, located in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton campus. Entitled “A Grab Bag of Music and Songs,” the show is free of admission and open to the public, but reservations are required as seating is limited due to social distancing requirements. Anyone wishing to attend the performance must obtain a ticket by contacting Vicki Hudson, division secretary to the Fine Arts Department, at (979) 532-6300. No one will be admitted to the event without a ticket.
Face masks will also be required of all guests – as well as for the student performers – as part of ongoing efforts to combat COVID-19. WCJC Band Director Joe Waldrop said it was important to provide students with a performance component, even in the midst of the pandemic.
“One of the main reasons that I wanted this concert to happen was because in our Master Syllabi the student learning outcomes require the instrumental groups perform for the public,” he said.
WCJC Choir Director Karl Paoletti said his students will utilize a special “Singer’s Mask” that allows the performers to better articulate while still protecting those around them from possible contamination. The band is using a similar device for the safety of the performers and audience.
“Practicing and performing with masks has been very challenging,” he said. “We have also created safety protocols for rehearsals, including practicing in the theater where we have more room to social distance.”
The concert will feature a wide range of songs. The Choir plans to tackle a medley of Duke Ellington’s greatest hits – including the notable “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” – Cole Porter’s well-known songs, 1950s rock and roll tunes and holiday favorites.
“The music is challenging to sing because the harmonies and rhythms are very sophisticated,” Paoletti noted. “I hope that performing and practicing this music will help the students become better musicians.”
Waldrop said performers will take turns utilizing the stage during the performance to maintain the proper social distancing guidelines. Plans are to have the Concert Band perform first, followed by the Choir and then the Jazz Band.
The bands will perform popular TV and movie themes, jazz selections and upbeat songs like Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk.” Waldrop encouraged the public to attend the concert as it’s the only event planned for the Fall 2020 semester.