Bel Canto Choirs musical director Jaclyn Riemer thinks for a second about how to describe the theme of Brava.
“The theme is musical excerpts,” she says. “It’s not Broadway musicals, because some of the shows, like Glee, haven’t been on Broadway, but it’s still a musical.”
Songs from the hit TV show will form a large part of the first half of Brava, the Bel Canto’s season-ending show from its youth choir. The show is set for May 7 (Saturday) at the PG Playhouse, with performances at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.
“The Glee pieces are large ensembles,” Riemer says. “We also have a song from Tarzan, Trashing the Camp, which is a large ensemble and a lot of fun for the kids.”
The solos and ensembles for the season’s final show are important, she says, because it’s an opportunity to feature performers who are finishing their current run as members of the Bel Canto youth choir.
“We have five ladies who are graduating, and ll of them will be featured in either solos or ensembles,” Riemer says.
Some of those solos will be in the second half of the show, which features a number of works from various shows, then finishes with about 20 minutes from The Phantom of the Opera.
Bel Canto vice-president Kim Knutsson says Brava is the sort of show the group likes to end the season with.
“We like a show that has opportunities for solos and small groups as well as the ensemble pieces,” she says.
While the group songs were chosen by Riemer, singers had the chance to audition for solo spots with songs of their own choosing.
“We have quite a variety of shows we will be featuring songs from,” she says. The list includes Seussical the Musical, Sweeney Todd, Aladdin, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and The Scarlet Pimpernel, as well as Glee and Phantom.
Knutsson says the show will provide the finish to a great season, as well as a busy month for some of the performers.
“We just got back from California,” she says, “where we took part in a couple of events. We were selected to be a representative at Disney’s Performing Arts, with performances in Disneyland itself, as well as some workshops.”
Some of the workshops included singing backing tracks to some Disney movies.
Then it was on to the Oceanside Jazz Festival at Mira College, in San Diego.
“This was a non-competitive event,” Knutsson says, “but the judges did offer good critiques of the performances.
“The choirs represented us very well.”
This season started for the choirs with A World of Song, then proceeded through Ain’t Misbehavin’ to the upcoming Brava. Knutsson says the three shows give students a good feel for various kinds of music.
“One of our goals is to expose the kids to all kinds of music, and I feel we accomplished that again this year.”
Tickets for Brava can be purchased in advance at Studio 2880 or at the door on May 7.