From bass to tenor, and alto to soprano, more than 20 singers will perform a cappella as the Air Capital Chorus presents its annual summer benefit concert on Saturday and June 30.
The group will sing and dance in an original romantic spoof titled “Another Midnight Serenade: Deja Vu.”
“It’s unique and it’s original,” said assistant director and performer Jeff Moler. “It’s pretty inspiring.”
Moler, a bass, sang in college. Then he gave it up. In 2009, he realized that music needed to be an integral part of his life, so he joined the Air Capital Chorus. Every Tuesday evening for the past four years, he has practiced with this barbershop group.
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“It’s average men who love to sing,” Moler said. “We have people from the community, average blue-collar workers and average white-collar workers that can put on a quality production.”
In recent years, women have joined the crew. Most have a broad vocal range, like artistic director Mary Halsig. These five women also participate in the show, which features mobsters, federal agents and a love interest.
The show was conceived by Halsig and Moler. They had help from fellow chorus members Bruce Bergsten and Ben McDaniel. Last year, the chorus, which was founded in 1939, put on a similar show. It was such an audience favorite they decided to continue with the theme.
Set in 1920s Chicago, the chorus runs through “All That Jazz,” “What Kind of Fool Am I” and “New York, New York” as the performers, clad in tuxedos and flapper attire, clad performers tap, waltz and sing.
“It all centers around poisoning pigeons in the park,” said Halsig, who is also a vocal teacher at Truesdell Middle School. “It’s very silly and a barrel of fun.”
In the high-spirited performance, a mad scientist wants to take over the world. Someone needs to stop him. In walks Kate, a few mobsters and several federal agents. Soon the Chicago-style nightclub is helping thwart a megalomaniac.
The four-part harmony choir will perform without any instruments besides vocals. The group is part of the national Barbershop Harmony Society.
Part of their mission is to expose the community to a cappella music.
“We get started with pitch pipes,” Moler said.
Proceeds from the concert will benefit the chorus and the Children’s Miracle Network. Along with giving music to the community, the chorus also helps raise money for different causes at each of its concerts.
The members of the group, who range in age from 14 to 80, compete regionally, winning several awards annually.
Moler encourages those who want to sing to come to any of their Tuesday evening rehearsals at the Wichita Scottish Rite Center. He said most people can sing, but they need to get their ears up to par.
“You need to be able to hear the subtle nuances,” he said. “We’re all singing together and having a great time.”