Voices will be holding a benefit concert this upcoming September 6, 2008 at The Wadsworth in Newnan. This production launches the recently announced two-year season in The Southern Arc, presenting Voices’ usual eclectic combination of music. “This whole series has a mysterious quality to it. There is an abundance of haunting melodies that will most certainly be following you home!” explained Ms. Ugarte. The program combines soundtrack and musicals selections from “Cold Mountain,” “Evita,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Oliver,” & “Porgy and Bess;” classical evergreens such as Puccini’s “O mio babbino caro” and Delibes’ “Flower Duet from the opera Lakme; as well as a tribute of pieces made popular by Josh Groban, Celtic Woman, Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli.
Returning for its second appearance will be the solo female vocal group Zaphyra. Zaphyra was born as a result of the first Voices concert in 2006 and formally organized during 2007. “While working on the mixing of the recording of the 2006 Voices concert, I was drawn to a particular song, Sale ascende.” explained Ms. Ugarte. “This is what triggered the idea of creating Zaphyra.” The ages of the group range from 11 to 44. Original members Maria Pia Ugarte and Alison Chambers, have recently welcomed Megan Zerbe, Paige McCauley and Jill Safko to join the ensemble. “Each singer has a very different kind of voice and style. Each member is a unique strong individual performer and at the same time has the ability to combine in a group with a special quality and warmth.” Zaphyra will be performing solo and ensemble pieces, including an a capella arrangement of “Somewhere” from West Side Story. The group recently finished recording a new version of “The Star Spangled Banner” that will be released as a maxi CD in the next few months.
The Southern Nights Chorale -- a men's precision a cappella ensemble – joins Voices for the first time. Founded by and under the direction of J. D. Holmes, it is made up of singers from the South Metro Atlanta area. They actively perform in The Southern Arc and have also been heard at Turner Field singing the National Anthem as well as at the Governor’s Mansion. “I heard about the Southern Nights Chorale and decided to approach their director to see if they would be interested in being part of Voices this season,” explained Ms. Ugarte. “J. D. accepted and we are very excited about the collaboration.”
Also returning for a second year is young violinist Matthew Roberts. Roberts started playing the violin at the age of six. He is a talented young musician who really enjoys playing his instrument and has an unlimited future ahead of him.
Hair design for Zaphyra will be done by Carlos Salon. “Imbedded in the concept of Voices, is the idea of fostering creative synergy among different channels within the community. Hair design is certainly an art form. I have known Carlos for several years, as well as his wife Julisa. They are both exceptional hair stylists.” Carlos Salon is located on Highway 74 in Peachtree City and is proud to offer the community an exceptional quality of service.
Another creative aspect that has become a characteristic of the Voices concerts is the wardrobe. Daivd’s Bridal in Morrow has supported this effort this year. “People have really enjoyed the visual and sophisticated nature of the performances and costumes,” said Ugarte. Zaphyra’s wardrobe has been a key component and received many compliments last year. David’s Bridal has responded very enthusiastically to being a part of Voices. “But expect surprises, as the dresses will most definitely have the Voices touch!”
This first concert – as well as the two following events -- will help fund the full scale production in 2009. This initial, more intimate performance will be taking place at The Wadsworth in Newnan (25 Jefferson Street.) The 1930’s Art Deco landmark -- listed on the National Register of Historic Places – was designed by noted Georgia architect R. Kennon Perry. “I learned of it through my friend and artistic colleague, writer Jeanne Chambers, one the founders of The Twilight Theater. I was very surprised that I had not heard of this place before. It is certainly worth a trip just to come and see this magnificent building, which has been recently restored.” Gene Surber, award-winning historic architect, served as the consultant for its rehabilitation. “Rein Pirn, who designed the acoustics for Spivey Hall at Clayton College and State University in Morrow, developed the acoustical plan.”
Presale tickets are available at the Voices website, www.VoicesOnline.org. Doors open at 7:00 pm, with the performance starting at 7:30 pm. A petite silent auction will take place before the concert and during intermission. A Meet & Greet Reception will take place after the concert. Please visit the Voices website for continued updates and information about this and upcoming events.
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