Choral Society Brings On The Powerful Beat Of Broadway

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The 70 plus guys and dolls of the Payson Choral Society will bring the Mogollon Rim alive with Broadway show tunes at their spring concert.

Not only is this the largest number of singers Daria Mason has ever directed, there are quite a few young adults, three junior high and two high school students in choral society as well.

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Sara DeWitt hopes to use her $1,000 scholarship from the choral society to continue singing lessons and add piano training.

"All grey-haired people will have to dye their hair brunette so people don't know we are seniors," soprano (and senior) Louise Anslow said with a merry laugh.

Anslow is excited about singing "Rhythm of Life" from Sweet Charity.

"Up tempo? Is it ever. ‘Rhythm of Life' has a dynamic beat which just involves the chorus to its limits," Anslow said.

"Steam Heat" from The Pajama Game is another jazzy, fast, difficult arrangement the chorus has practiced.

Director Daria Mason has chosen a mix of songs from classic musicals.

The audience will hear a surprise song from Hairspray, "Hush-a-bye Mountain" from Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang and "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Carousel.

The men's chorus will become sailors, Seabees and Marines as they tell everyone that a lot of "dandy games" and "advice from Tokyo Rose" is no substitute for a beautiful dame in a famous song from South Pacific.

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Kaitie Jones will share her own little musical corner when she takes the stage May 3 with the Payson Choral Society.

The chorus will sing two selections from "Les Miserables:" A trio will perform the love triangle song. The women's chorus aims to give the audience goose-bumps as they sing of freedom in "Do You Hear the People Sing."

Youthful voices are part of the people in the community and in the choir.

May 3, the regular choral members will share the Payson High School auditorium stage with three of the five 2008 student scholarship winners.

"You are all winners just for being here. It is my pleasure to thank you for being here. It was a joy to hear each of you," Mason told the eight teens who auditioned.

The strains of "All That Jazz" wafted beyond the closed door of Sara DeWitt's audition.

"My voice cracked but I think I did great," Sara DeWitt whispered excitedly to a friend as she exited her audition.

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Was luck truly a lady for John Buskirk? More likely, it was the hours practicing that earned him a $500 music scholarship from the Payson Choral Society.

Just 30 minutes later, DeWitt's two months of practice on one of her favorite songs paid off handsomely. She will take piano lessons with the $1,000 she earned from choral society,

A few hours later, complete with flapper costume, she performed "All That Jazz" for a packed audience at the college.

Applause at the college was also loud for Kaitie Jones and John Buskirk. The two students also auditioned early in the day then went on to perform at vocal coach Ken Goodenberger's recital.

Jones' sweet rendition of "In My Own Little Corner" delighted the audience, as did young Buskirk's Sinatra-styling as he sang, "Luck be a Lady" from "Guys and Dolls."

For those who missed these songs, or want to hear DeWitt, Buskirk and Jones sing them again, the Payson Choral Society has two show times for A Musical Stroll Down Broadway, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Concert admission is $8 adults, $3 students 12 to 18. Children under 12 are free.

Tickets to the Saturday, May 3 shows are available at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Payson Public Library and the Roundup as well as at the door.

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