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Vocal students get a bite out of the big apple

By Jessica Duling
On February 25, 2013

  • Kirkwood Vocal students rehearse and prepare for their big moment on stage with the New York Voices. They will be attending a workshop with the popular group along with other local students. Photo By Stephen Hiracheta

Choir students at Kirkwood Community College are taking a bite out of the Big Apple. The choir students will be working with a New York based company, the New York Voices.

"I have been trying to get the group here for basically the last 10 years," said Choral Arts Director, Ray Salucka.

The New York Voices will perform and give a workshop with Kirkwood and local students.

The New York Voices is an American group that blends pop, R&B and jazz among other genres. The vocal group formed from an Ithaca College Alumni group in the late 1980's.

 "It has not worked out either because they were out touring when we hold our festival or the funds to bring them were not available," said Salucka.

However, Kirkwood students are not the only group to take advantage of the opportunity to work with the New York Voices. Local area high schools will be performing at the Jazz Festival in 20-minute intervals. Salucka said that after their performances, "one of the members of the New York Voices will go with them to the Vocal Music Room and do a 20-minute one-on-one clinic/masterclass with the ensemble."

The New York Voices will also be performing an evening concert starting at 8 p.m. Friday. "This will be an amazing experience for these talented high school ensembles," said Salucka.

For the workshop students will be rehearsing songs from both the fall and spring semesters. "The music we worked on in the fall has already been presented in concert so it is in the fine tuning stages," said Salucka. He added, "The music from this term is in the developmental stage so the insight provided by the New York Voices members will be most helpful in our continued preparations," he added.

Salucka said he recently talked with Darmon Meader, vocalist and saxophonist for the New York Voices, and mentioned that "[Meader] has invited our singers to sing with the New York Voices on one of their tunes."

Being able to brush elbows with professional singers is a huge break for the vocal students. The students have been rehearsing the New York Voices music so that they will be ready for their big night. "We've been working hard on it since we only have [had] a week to learn and memorize it - but believe me, the motivation is definitely there!" said Salucka. "Everything finally fell into place."

The Jazz Festival is currently sold out except for select tickets being released by listening to  KCCK. Kirkwood students can purchase tickets to attend a live-streaming of the concert in rooms 234 and 343 in Cedar Hall. The concert will be held on Feb 22.

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