WNCC Vocal Music Department Presents ‘Songs of the Sea and Shore’ for Spring Gala | Education

Arika Felkins twirls in a country skirt as she tries on potential costumes for the Spring Gala ahead of the band’s rehearsal on Wednesday.


Singers from Western Nebraska Community College’s Vocal Music Program will take their audience to the college’s 2022 Spring Gala.

This year the show is called “Songs of the Sea and Shore”. The gala will take place this weekend, April 1 and 2, at the Gering Civic Center.

Vocal music director Patrick Newell said he chose the show’s theme based on the composition of his two backing vocals.

‘Songs of the Sea and the Shore’

What WNCC Vocal Spring Gala
When April 1-2, 6 p.m.
Or Gering Civic Center
Contact ticket office 308-635-6193

“What I’m going to do is capitalize on the fact that there are more men than women in the choir this semester,” he said. “It almost never happens. I felt like we needed something with a good bass, so I thought of sea shanties.

The Collegiate Chorale has 35 singers and Varsity Vocalise has 39 members. All sea shanties will be sung a capella.

“I’m so looking forward to it,” Newell said. “I like the sound of men when they really align their voices; it’s a really rich sound. A few sea shanties are just women, and the contrast between men and women singing – women have a lighter but still in tune tone – is an exciting contrast to me.

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WNCC Vocal Spring Gala

Patrick Newell conducts one of the WNCC’s two vocal choirs as they rehearse for the Spring Gala, which will take place at the Gering Civic Center on April 1-2.


However, not all songs will necessarily be sea shanties. Newell said he was stretching some of the song choices to the smallest possible connection to the theme. One song is called “Sea of ​​Cowboy Hats”, which has nothing to do with the ocean and everything to do with being in a bar where everyone seems to be wearing cowboy hats.

The gala will also include performances by newly formed a capella groups Andante’s Infernos (men) and Descant Get Enough (women). This will be Descant Get Enough’s first public performance, as Andante’s Infernos performed during the fall vocal showcase.

A handful of soloists will also take the stage for the gala.

“We have a lot of soloists this year,” Newell said. “I was impressed with what they bring to their performances.”

The Spring Gala is the vocal music department’s biggest fundraiser of the year. As well as participating to support the program, Newell said people should consider going just to experience some lost heritage.

WNCC Vocal Spring Gala

Hannah Vath sings her part in one of the Sea Songs during rehearsal Wednesday afternoon. The theme for this year’s spring gala is “Songs of the Sea and Shore”.


“Before, there was such a culture of choral singing, and we have lost a lot of that culture,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to hear some of the kinds of singing we did 100 to 150 years ago. … It’s an opportunity to hear about our heritage live.

The Spring Gala will be presented on Friday April 1 and Saturday April 2 at the Gering Civic Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a short social hour, with the show starting at 6:30 p.m.

Dinner will be surf and turf to coincide with the theme of the evening.

Tickets are $32 per person and can be purchased online at https://www.wncc.edu/community/performing-arts, or by calling the box office at 308-635-6193. Tickets cannot be purchased at the door.

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