On the stage, a strange device glowed. Flanking the stage, two huge clocks started a countdown to a different age.
“No one knows where the time machine will stop,” crooned Payson Choral Society Director Daria Mason.
During the almost two-hour concert, the Choral Society sang songs from medieval Europe to Simon and Garfunkel.
But the spring concert did not serve as simply a stage for the town choir, the proceeds from ticket sales go toward scholarships for middle and high school students to pursue their musical talents.
Six students, three from Payson High School and three from Rim Country Middle School bravely performed at two performances on Saturday, April 27.
Nine-year winner Kaitlyn Jones, a senior, sang “Defying Gravity” from the smash Broadway hit, “Wicked.”
Natalia Olivares, a sophomore, sang “Somebody to Love” by the rock group “Queen.”
Senior John Buskirk intoned the solemn song “Stars” from “Les Miserable.”
During the second half of the show, sixth grade students Hayden Stroud and Tristan Pruett chose current pop tunes to entertain the crowd.
Hayden sang a heavenly version of Katy Perry’s hit song “Wide Awake.”
Tristan channeled Adele down to the accent on her words, through the heartbreaking song “Never-Ending Peace.”
Crystal Kubby, the only eighth grade student, hauntingly sang “God Help the Outcasts” from Disney’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
All scholarship winners were awarded $500 to purchase an instrument or pay for music lessons.
From 1996 through 2003, annual scholarships averaged $1,250. Since that time, generous supporters have increased the average annual scholarships to $3,200.
The investment has paid off. Kaitlyn Jones plans to minor in vocal music and major in chemistry next year at Arizona State University.