This year’s “United Voices” concert moved to the beautiful Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose, where every one of Harker’s student vocal groups performed. The Bucknall Choir, directed by Kellie Binney-Smart and Jennifer Sandusky and made up of grade 4-5 students, got things started with the traditional Irish folk song “Shady Grove,” Franz Schubert’s “An Die Musik,” one of the few songs that evening to be sung in a foreign language, and “We Believe in Music” by Teresa Jennings.
Mary Ellen Agnew-Place directed the grade 6 show choir Dynamics, the first of the middle school groups, who went on stage to perform their own three-song set, performing songs such as the iconic World War II hit “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Bigger Isn’t Better” from the Broadway musical “Barnum.”
Next up was the grade 7-8 group Harmonics, directed by Agnew-Place and Monica Colletti, who sang “All That Jazz” from the musical “Chicago” before being joined by their classmates in Vivace, led by Paul Woodruff, to sing their rendition of the Cyndi Lauper hit “True Colors.” Vivace then took over to perform “Sing and We Chant It” by Thomas Morley and Duke Ellington and Bob Russell’s jazz standard “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”
Starting off for the upper school was the Sandusky-directed group Bel Canto, who sang a medley from the much-loved Broadway musical “West Side Story” and the traditional spiritual “Battle of Jericho.” Susan Nace then directed Camerata, who sang Thomas Morley’s “Shoot False Love” before the upper school show choir group Downbeat, directed by Laura Lang-Ree and Sandusky, brought the house down with the Michael Jackson classic “Man in the Mirror” and funk legends Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Sing a Song.”
Crowd favorite Cantilena, led by Susan Nace, was the final group to represent the upper school, singing Ko Matsushita’s “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “The Hanging Tree” by Michael Sheppard and concluding with the evocative “See the Chariot at Hand” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.
The show ended with the all of the night’s performers gathering on stage for a stirring performance of Jim Papoulis’ “Oye.”