Urban Singers a “Glee-ful” group

They’re performing in the holiday assembly on Dec. 17. They spend three E periods a week in the Gumption and sing for all of us during the occasional all school meeting. But beyond this, how much do we really know about the Urban Singers?

Talking with Brandon Adams, choral director, and various Singers, it’s obvious that there’s a lot going on in between performances. Preparing a big number from the musical “Anything Goes” for their Dec. 12 Winter Concert at Herbst Theater, the Junior and Senior Chamber Singers section of the Urban Singers’ choristers swung their hips, and danced to choreography directed by Alyssa Mitchell (’11). Samantha Kostick (’11) said the dance moves gave the number a “Glee feel.”

While the ratio of boys to girls is still imbalanced this year, with 9 boys and 27 girls, Adams says it is a “building year for the guys.” The group has expanded this year, with strong interest by freshmen contributing to that increase in size. The Singers were also divided into a younger and older group, to enable a more focused learning experience.

The Urban Singers work hard, sight-reading, harmonizing, and perfecting many other details that go into the performance of choral music. Adams said that while the group is an eclectic one, they are united in their passion for singing. “We’re doing something upstream in terms of energy,” said Adams, referring to Urban’s sometimes-stagnant attitude about choral music. That doesn’t stop the Singers, Brandon added; they love the work they’re doing and this year it is apparent more than ever, he said.

Why work so hard? According to Adams, singing in a chorus during high school is important because it “engages both sides of the brain in a way other disciplines don’t.

“High schoolers learn how to be comfortable with themselves onstage, [and chorus] unites a group together in a way that is non-competitive,” Adams said. He added that chorus is “a discipline best absorbed in high school.” For Samantha Kostick (’11), “chorus is a really wonderful time amidst the Urban workload.”

As shown in their performance at the recent concert at Herbst Theater, chorus members are doing what they love. ”Singing is what I want to do with my life,” said Bobby Thornton (’11). “And it’s a way to sing every day.”