County Fare: Williams group to sing in Boston TV competition
Twenty-four amateur singing groups from across New England, including one from Williams College, were selected from a field of more than 81 groups to perform during the second season of "Sing That Thing!," a choral competition from Boston public broadcaster WGBH.
Hosted by Boston Children's Chorus Artistic Director Anthony Trecek-King. "Sing That Thing!" begins taping in January, and will premiere on WGBH 2 on Friday evenings starting April 1.
The series includes groups from three categories: high school, collegiate and adult. Williams' Good Question varsity co-ed a cappella group will take on rivals from Amherst (Doo Wop Shop), and others during this series. It is one of the few Western Massachusetts groups selected to compete.
The groups will perform during eight episodes, including a live-to-tape semi-final and finale featuring the top group from each category performing their unique rendition of a pop favorite.
The Williams group posted on its Facebook page: "We are so excited to perform on 'Sing That Thing!'"
The group was formed 21 years ago, but is still considered one of the younger vocal groups on campus. You can hear them for yourself online at SoundCloud and YouTube.
"We are proud to introduce a brand-new set of New England's most talented singers to our enthusiastic audiences," said Liz Cheng, WGBH's general manager for television and co-executive producer of "Sing That Thing!".
Competition coaches — Larry Watson, Annette Philip and Jared Bowen — will provide constructive feedback to the groups and determine which will advance to the grand finale. Watson, an educator, lyricist and civil rights activist, is a professor in the Berklee College of Music ensemble department. Philip, a vocalist, composer/arranger and faculty member at Berklee College of Music, won the 2014 national Harmony Sweepstakes a cappella championship with her quartet, "Women of the World." Bowen, WGBH news executive arts editor, hosts WGBH's "Open Studio with Jared Bowen."
"The coaches and experts will bring their supportive and colorful touch to the competition that will educate both competing groups and fans," said co-executive producer Patricia Alvarado Nuñez.
The selected choirs, by category, are as follows:
High school: Beverly High School Vocal Ensemble, Mansfield High School Select Choir, Music Unlimited of Waltham High School, ShenaniGanns of Gann Academy in Waltham; Hollis-Brookline Honors Choir of Hollis Brookline High School in New Hampshire; The 18 Wheelers of Wheeler High School, Providence, R.I.; and from Connecticut, Strawberry Fields of Bristol Eastern High School and Vibe from Daniel Hand High School in Madison.
College: Doo Wop Shop from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Fermata NoWhere from UMass-Lowell; Good Question of Williams College; Gordon College Choir of Wenham; Noteworthy from Emerson College in Boston; Simple Harmonic Motion of Worcester Polytechnic Institute; Manic Optimist of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine; and Redhot & Blue of Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Adult small group: Bostonality of Brookline; Boston Jazz Voices of Waltham; Boston Skyline Chorus of Lexington; Cambridge Chamber Singers; The Copley Cats of Boston; Mass Whole Notes of Somerville; and Vocal Revolution of Lexington.
Preliminary round tapings for "Sing That Thing!" will take place Jan. 12-14, at WGBH Studios in Brighton. The semifinal and final groups will be taped in February in front of a studio audience. More information about the series is available at WGBH.org/SingThatThing.
Williamstown Elementary School's sixth-graders, parents and teachers recently worked to support the WeShare drive for refugee children.
Earlier in the fall, WES Alum, Liz Tadros, spoke with the Pittsfield sixth-graders about her work with refugee families arriving in the United States. This inspired Tadros and the students to collect new and gently used items for gift/activity bags to give refugee children when they arrive in the Miami airport, where Tadros is based. They collected stickers, crayons, notebooks, coloring books, small toys, travel games and playing cards.
Tadros collected more than 100 bags from the students and their drive.
Wrote Margot Sanger, Tadros' mother, in the school's newsletter, "The refugee children and their families are so grateful for this amazing outpouring of love and care."
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