Gold Company conducts vocal workshop with local students at WSCC

April 6, 2019 GMT

Ludington High School students, along with students from Hart and Shelby, took part in Friday’s music workshop with the Western Michigan University Gold Company at West Shore Community College.

WMU’s Gold Company took part in Friday’s workshop, and collaborated with WSCC to conclude the college’s Performing Arts Series on Friday night.

Ted Malt, WSCC music professor and Performing Arts Series director, said the college is encouraging performers to provide hands-on clinics with students as a part of being involved in the series.

“It is great because these are all university students and they are providing clinics for our high school students,” Malt said. “A lot of these students do not get a chance to go downstate and hear some of the university groups.

“One of my main missions when I took the director of Performing Arts Series position on at the college, was to bring those groups north of I-96 so that these students could hear this music right here in their own backyard.”

Malt said that there are groups on college campuses that will allow students to perform, but the Gold Company at WMU requires an audition to become a member.

“Even if you are not a music major you have to be a very proficient vocalist to be in their group,” Malt said. “This is a nationally acclaimed university group. They have won numerous awards nationwide.”

Malt said Friday’s workshop was about technique, and they worked in small group to refine their skills at forming “tight” vocal harmonies — something that’s no small task for a vocal ensemble.

“This music is very difficult because the distance between the notes between each singer (sings) is very short and that is very difficult to keep in perspective,” he said. “It is not just an easy chord. There are a lot of other notes that go into the harmonies (and) it’s pretty advanced music.

“We take that for granted as the listener.”

Malt said taking part in the workshop Friday included all Hart High School vocal students, Shelby’s vocal students all of Ludington vocal and band students.

“This is what makes my job really fun,” Malt said looking out over Peterson Auditorium.

Friday’s performance was the last Performing Arts Series event for the 2018-19, Malt he was happy with the variety of acts and performances, which included two nights with “The Best of Second City,” performances by Simon Shaheen and Billy Strings and two theater productions: fall’s “And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank,” and the winter musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.”

On April 11, the WSCC Jazz Ensemble will perform at Center Stage Theater at 7:30 p.m. On April 17, the WSCC Wind Symphony & Percussion Ensemble will perform at Manistee High School at 7:30 p.m. The WSCC Concert Choir will April 23, at 7:30 p.m. at Center Stage Theater and on May 13, the Gold Coast Choral at 7:30 p.m. will perform at the college’s Center Stage Theater.