Local High School Choruses Rocking the Stage: Foreigner’s Farewell Tour Kickoff at SPAC
Foreigner is hitting the Broadview stage at SPAC as part of their farewell tour. Loverboy is opening. So are two High School choruses. For the 80s music mavens, this is monumental. But my lede isn’t here to pump up that jam. No, no, no. The real story are the opening acts at 7PM.
Two local elite High School choruses: SGF Vocal Point of South Glens Falls High School and Leading Tones of Schoharie High School, will be opening the show at 7pm. I had the pleasure of speaking to the choral director of Vocal Point and a member of Leading Tones to learn more.
Betsy Stambach-Fuller, a Nippertown colleague, gave me the low down on how this experience came to be. Apparently, the members of Foreigner had participated in their respective high school choirs and use stage time as a way to give back. Radio Station B95.5 stood up a competition, using social media voting, to identify the top two choral groups that would open the show at SPAC. The rules were simple (ha!): create a Youtube video 3-5 minutes in length of classic rock songs, sung a capella. The time frames of the announcement of the competition to learning to video creation seemed kind of tight to me, but the contestants weren’t kidding around! Those chosen to sing on August 1st will be subjected to the old school “who has the loudest applause votes,” and awards for 1st and 2nd place will be given.
Stambach-Fuller is a seventeen-year teacher at South Glens Falls High School. She teaches music theory and theater classes and also directs the choral ensemble and theatre. SGF Vocal Point are eleven veteran traveling performers. They participate in competitions, perform, have posts on social media, and, last year, opened for William Shatner at the Kennedy Center as part of a 2022 Ben Folds Declassified concert series.
In the other corner, er wing, is Lindsay Haverly, a member of Schoharie High School’s Leading Tones. They have been involved in music for about eight years and most recently joined Leading Tones, an audition-only group with eleven juniors and seniors participating tomorrow night. Like Vocal Point, Leading Tones will also be singing a capella rock songs arranged by their choir director. Knowing the pressure of learning music, words, inflection, pitch, etc., I asked Havely how it felt to learn so much, so quickly, with the prospect of a large audience looming. They credited the choir director who arranged the music and members’ weekly practice with keeping pace with the new music and arrangements.
While I won’t be at the concert, I have some friends going who have been charged with reporting back. I am looking forward to hearing about the competition and the outcome. Who will receive the first place BOSE equipment, and who will receive the $500 for their music program? Good luck to all! After interviewing Stambach-Fuller and Haverly, I’d have to sit on my hands!