Olentangy Valley News

Liberty choirs hope holiday concert brings joy

Popular choirs anticipate full church for Dec. 14 concert


Olentangy Liberty High School singers are continuing the tradition of bringing their signature holiday concert into the community by performing at Powell United Methodist Church.

The Choraliers women's choir, Varsity Chorale advanced choir and the Alternotives a cappella pop choir will perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at the church, 825 E. Olentangy St.

This is the second year the choirs have performed at the church, making additional concerts outside the school a tradition that choir director Doug O'Neal said he hopes will spread to spring performances.

"Our thought is to go out to the community a little bit more," said O'Neal, who began considering a second holiday concert two years ago when there was standing room only during a performance in the high school's theater.

"This is a great opportunity for them in many ways," he added, pointing out that before the addition of a Saturday concert, students worked for more than two months to prepare songs they sang only once for a live audience, and not as many of their friends and family had the opportunity to hear them sing.

O'Neal said having a church serve as the second concert's location has been a priority.

"The acoustics of some churches are just beautiful for the voice," he said. "It gives a little bit of reverberation; it's just incredible, especially at the holiday time."

About 100 students in the choirs will sing a mix of traditional and contemporary holiday songs, some accompanied by choreography and others by musicians.

An always-anticipated part of the concert is the Alternotives performance, which includes popular songs that have been arranged in a cappella style especially for its members. The choir several times has won the Christmas Idol contest sponsored by a local radio station, and last month, it won a slot at an a cappella festival to perform in front of the recent winners of NBC's The Sing Off.

Regardless of the genre, all the pieces performed at the holiday concerts will adhere to the theme of "Believing in Joy."

"The concert theme is significant for me because the holidays are a time when people demonstrate their beliefs," said senior Drew Cooper, who is vice president of Varsity Chorale. "But no matter if you decorate a Christmas tree, light a menorah or celebrate no holiday at all, the idea of believing in joy is something universal that stretches across all religions and ways of life."

The church concert as well as the 3 p.m. Dec. 15 concert at the high school are free, but donations are accepted. O'Neal said funds raised will support a choir trip to Chicago next year.

While raising money for the upcoming trip is no doubt a perk, junior Kensie Brooks said being able to share her love of music with others is reward enough.

"It really feels good to take our music outside of the walls of Liberty to show everyone what we work so hard on and to share this great experience with the people of our community," she said. "I can only hope that the music that I love singing can somehow make someone's day or even holiday season."