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Sat, Oct. 19

Yavapai Youth Choir Gala this weekend
Features four groups

Lily Grubert and Julie Woolsey in rehearsal for the Yavapai Youth Choir Gala which is Saturday, May 4, at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. (Jason Wheeler/Courier)

Lily Grubert and Julie Woolsey in rehearsal for the Yavapai Youth Choir Gala which is Saturday, May 4, at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. (Jason Wheeler/Courier)

The four groups that make up the Yavapai Youth Choir are performing for the Yavapai Youth Choir Gala this weekend in a celebration of the Great American Songbook.

The show features selections by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington, and the youths have been having a lot of fun learning and getting into that music, said director Arlene Hardy. The idea to do Great American Songbook came from last year’s, show which was all Broadway music, Hardy said.

“While I was looking for music for our choirs, I ran across quite a few that were not part of the Broadway scene,” she said. “This opens it up a little.”

Tickets for the Saturday, May 4, performance are $50 for on-stage seating, refreshments and the silent auction and $10 for balcony seating, available online at www.ycpac.com. The hors d’oeuvres and desserts are going to be provided by El Gato Azul.

The hors d’oeuvres and silent auction begin at 6 p.m. with the performance starting at 7 p.m. The choirs are under the direction of Hardy, Michelle Grubert and Scott Neese. The gala will be at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center, 1100 E. Sheldon St.

The gala is the choir’s big fundraiser of the year, Hardy said. Last year, more than $5,000 was raised, and it would be great to double that this year, she said. All the money that comes in from the silent auction and drawing tickets will be used for the trip to Toronto in July, Hardy said.

For the silent auction this year, youth at different schools were asked to submit original drawings for an art contest, and professional artists looked through the submissions, chose a piece that spoke to them and created a piece of their own inspired by the students’ work, she said.

Every year, Hardy said, she marvels at what the kids are willing to do in order to put on the best show possible. They’ve progressed in their musicianship, have developed professionally and have grown as people, she said.

“This is a great opportunity because they get up in front of the audience, they’re on stage with the audience, performing; they mingle with the audience, they welcome the audience, they thank them for coming in,” Hardy said. “It provides them opportunities to speak with people one-on-one and truly learn that skill for when they move on into adulthood.”

For more information, visit www.ycpac.com.

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