Purdue Varsity Glee Club to jam with NISO

2012-10-26T00:00:00Z Purdue Varsity Glee Club to jam with NISOEloise Marie Valadez, (219) 933-3365

The lush sounds of Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra will mingle with the harmonies of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club next week in the region.

During the second concert of the orchestra's new season, the symphony is prepared to take the stage with the Glee Club at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1 at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville.

"It's a great opportunity for our group," said Caleb Larsen, Glee Club member and student manager for the chorus.

Larsen, a Highland native, said Purdue's Glee Club has performed in the area before but has never shared the stage with Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra.

"It'll be nice to come back and perform there in my hometown and it'll be great to perform with the orchestra," he said adding the symphony is well respected in the region and beyond.

"We've done other collaborations with other groups around the state and in other places but this is the first time we'll be performing with the symphony," he said.

Larsen said it's an exciting venture to perform with more musicians than they usually do. Their regular instrument accompanists are a piano player, drummer and guitarist.

In a previous interview with NISO music director/conductor Kirk Muspratt, the orchestra leader said he welcomes the group to share the stage with his musicians.

"I've been wanting to do a program with the Purdue Varsity Glee Club for the last three or four years, " Muspratt said.

Larsen said the vocal group's concerts always offer a diverse experience of musical styles. They have nearly 100 tunes perfected and can draw from that varied bag of sounds for any show.

According to Larsen, they often don't pinpoint selections of tunes they'll perform until close to showtime.

For the NISO show, however, Larsen said there have been a few prepared numbers they'll do in conjunction with the orchestra and then they'll perform other signature songs in their repertoire.

"The one unique thing about Glee Club is we don't really know what we'll be performing other than the pieces we'll be performing with the symphony," he said, laughing.

"Our shows always include classic songs to stuff you might hear on the radio today to country and barbershop (quartet) music," he said. "No two shows are ever alike."

One of the more unique tunes the chorus will perform with the orchestra is "The Blue Danube Waltz." by Strauss.

Other songs on the concert playlist will include "Come Fly With Me," "Stars and Stripes Forever," medley from "Oklahoma," "Unchained Melody," "Amazing Grace," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Shenandoah," "God Bless The USA," and more.

Strong vocal groups and chorus performances, Larsen said, currently are popular with audiences around the country.

"That music just has a pull and appeal for people. People are rediscovering (the magic of music) in vocal groups and how music can cheer them up and bring something special to their lives."

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