Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Piney Hills Harmony, 'Elvis' to perform together; chorus schedules Open House

Piney Hills Harmony Chorus of Sweet Adelines is looking both backward and forward this month.

The a cappella singing group will pay tribute to music of the '50s, '60s and '70s during its annual show Saturday at the Dixie Center for the Arts when its members share the stage with Elvis tribute artist Todd C. Martin, of Monroe. Then next week, chorus members will glance toward the future as they invite area women to their rehearsal as part of a Global Open House.

Saturday's show, "Rock Around the Clock," will begin at 7 p.m. and will be a "real production," chorus President Carol Ogle said.

Chorus music will range from "Sh-Boom" and "At the Hop" of the '50s, to "One Fine Day" and "Aquarius" of the '60s, to "Lean on Me" and "Love Will Keep Us Together" of the '70s – plus much more. Martin's selections will run the gamut from "Hound Dog" to "Suspicious Minds."

"Whether you were a cool cat, a flower child, or a disco queen or king," Ogle said, "you'll be transported back in time by these songs. Some folks in our target audience may be too young to have been there, but who doesn’t love rock 'n' roll?"

Kelly Aaen, of Monroe, will be master of ceremonies and will add her acting talents to the mix, Ogle said. Aaen teaches at Ouachita Christian School and has experience in drama and public speaking, including performances in several Strauss Theatre productions.

"We've got really nice stage sets that we'll use in our comedy skits, which are designed to complement our musical numbers," Ogle said. "Some of the most cherished TV characters from those decades will 'magically' show up – like Lucy and Ethel from 'I Love Lucy,' a host of characters from 'Laugh In' and even Edith Bunker from 'All in the Family.' Audience members of all ages are sure to have a rocking good time as we take a fun trip down memory lane."

Martin agreed with Ogle's assessment. "I'm looking forward to a different kind of arrangement than we've ever done," he said. "I like the way the chorus has designed the whole show. The three decades of music will appeal to a huge array of people. It's not just Elvis or Patsy Cline or the Beatles; it's a great combination. It's truly a variety show."

Martin ranked third in the worldwide "Images of the King" competition in Memphis, Tenn., in both 2008 and 2010. Other honors include first place at the 2011 Immokalee Seminole Casino "King of the World Elvisfest" contest in South Florida and first place at the Branson, Mo., Elvis Explosion.

Appropriately, a portion of proceeds from the show will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tenn., where The King lived for so many years.

Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $10 for students 6-18 and seniors 60-plus, and $25 for special Silver Seating (seats in the front two rows). Tickets are available at the door, the Dixie Center box office, the Avenue Books and Gifts in Ruston, White's Ferry Road Church of Christ in West Monroe and Zeagler’s Music in Monroe.


Piney Hills Harmony's Open House, designed to better acquaint area residents with what Sweet Adelines has to offer in regard to membership, is scheduled during the chorus' regular rehearsal at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, in the fellowship hall of the Presbyterian Church of Ruston. All over the globe this month, Sweet Adelines International choruses are joining together in this "Teach the World to Sing" event.

Women of all ages who enjoy singing are invited to experience the exhilaration of performing and singing four-part harmony, Ogle said. Any woman of average singing ability, with or without vocal training, can find a part that fits her voice range with the help of the chorus’ musical leaders, she said.

More information is available by calling Ogle at (318) 348-2291.

CAPTION: Piney Hills Harmony Chorus members Sallie Rose Hollis (left) and Carol Ogle practice delivering lines from the "Laugh In" joke wall that will be part of the Sweet Adelines' annual show Saturday. The duo, along with other members, will be dressed in period attire for the performance.

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