WCJC Choir hosts fundraiser dinner at Holy Family Catholic Church

Shown is the WCJC practicing for their fundraiser on October 13 with WCJC Music Instructor Debra Lemson at the piano.

Patriotic songs, Broadway classics and even Beatles tunes are all on the menu for the Wharton County Junior College Choir Dinner Fundraiser featuring a music revue, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2011 Briar Lane, Wharton.

WCJC instructor of music Debra Lemson, who assists husband and director Lee Lemson in training the choir, is hoping for an event as successful as those in years past.  The funds, after all, will support the choir’s trip to New York for a performance at Carnegie Hall.

“We’re hoping this will be a very significant fundraiser; in the past it has been,” Debra Lemson said. “We’ve got kids who this will change their lives.”

The last time the WCJC Choir performed at Carnegie Hall was two years ago.  This time around, only college-level choirs were invited to attend, Lemson said, which makes it all the more special.  During the trip, which will be held in May of 2013, participants will rehearse with a top-level conductor and then perform at the renowned hall.  Lemson said students have already been practicing their pieces, which are in German and come from Brahms German Requiem.

“This is just a feather in our cap,” she said of the opportunity. “It’s very exciting.”

But the cost of the trip is $2,000 per participant – and that’s something most WCJC students can’t afford.  That’s where the Choir Dinner comes in.  Proceeds from the event are earmarked for the trip, with individual tickets priced at $20 and corporate sponsorships (premier seating for eight) available for $300.

There will be a live and silent auction also, with the live auction hosted by longtime WCJC benefactor Sylvan Miori. A meal of chicken fried chicken and all the trimmings will be supplied by Ben’s Chuck Wagon.

Unlike the Brahms’ pieces that the choir will tackle in New York, the entertainment at the Choir Dinner will be of a much lighter and livelier fare.  Selections will come from the movie, New York, New York; from the Broadway musical, Wicked; from A Chorus Line; from Puccini’s Les Miserables; from the musical Cabaret; and even the well-known pop song, Yesterday, by the Beatles.

“This is very light-hearted music,” Lemson said. The WCJC Choir has 38 members, and Lemson said they are all dedicated to what they do and are excited about putting on a memorable performance for the public. Lemson anticipates around 300 people will turn out to enjoy the show.

“They rehearse five days a week; they’re committed to this,” she said. “It should be a really fine evening.”

This is the 21st annual event and will be held at the Holy Family Catholic Church Family Life Center, 2011 Briar Lane in Wharton. For tickets, call the WCJC Fine Arts Division at 532-6300.

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