Jim Logue knows five minutes can be a long time.
He remembers when Broadway singer Carol Dennis was the guest artist at the Gospel Honors Choir concert.
Just before she was set to go on stage in Omaha’s Holland Center, Dennis decided her outfit was just not going to work.
A graduate assistant tried to tell Dennis that she needed to go on stage.
But the singer was determined to change her clothes.
Logue, the director of choral music at Midland University, and Kat Sodawasser were on stage when the graduate assistant told them to stall for time.
So Logue and Sodawasser, the assistant music director, went into action.
“We stalled for five minutes,” Logue said, smiling. “It was a long time until Carol Dennis came out on stage.”
Was it worth the wait?
“Absolutely,” Logue said. “She is a great artist.”
This year, audiences will be able to hear more great music at the Gospel Honors Choir concert at 7 p.m., Sunday in the Wikert Event Center, 900 N. Clarkson St., in Fremont. The public is invited. Tickets cost $10 each; admission is free for students.
More than 155 high school students and about 80 Midland students will be part of the event, which will feature a variety of music.
“This year, we’re changing things up a little bit in that we are not just doing gospel music. We are mixing gospel music with other forms of music,” Logue said.
For example, the music will include: “When the Saints Go Marching in,” with a Dixieland band, and “Fly to Paradise” by Eric Whitacre, a vocal music composer and conductor.
“Flight of Paradise” is a virtual choir piece, which incorporates voices from around the world.
For the piece, Whitacre created an accompaniment track. People from other countries could download this track, record themselves and send it back to Whitacre.
He, in turn, put all the voices separately into one performance track.
“Literally, you will have thousands of people from all over the world singing this same song,” Logue said.
The MU choir will sing “Flight of Paradise” with the track, minus the vocals from around the world.
Another musical selection will be, “Jabberwocky,” from the sequel to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The piece contains lots of nonsense words from Carroll’s famous poem.
“This piece is something that’s really fun to do,” Logue said. “It’s just goofy fun. There are all kinds of nonsense-type instruments that they get to play along with it.
Ryan Dusso, MU’s vocal department grad assistant, agreed.
“You’re taken back into elementary music class. It’s the tiny musical instruments you played in elementary school. It’s incorporating those instruments into the song, which makes it fun and silly,” Dusso said.
Dusso will direct the song, “Here’s Where I Stand,” from the movie, “Camp.”
The song comes in toward the end of the movie, which involves a musical-theater summer camp. In the film, the lead singer, who is very shy, has been told she won’t accomplish anything in life and her father isn’t very supportive of her music.
But the singer will amaze her parents and the audience when she sings this song.
“We’re going to be picking soloists from the high school group to do this. It’s a great message about standing up for yourself,” Logue said.
Logue, Russo, Sodawasser and Dan Hays, MU’s director of theatre activities, will serve as directors for the performance.
And while past events have had a featured performer, the emphasis will be on the honor choir.
Each year, the Gospel Honors Choir provides opportunities for high school students.
Vocal music directors from various high schools nominate students to be part of the event. The students have the opportunity to rehearse with the MU choir and automatically qualify for a $10,000 scholarship.
“But that is just the beginning,” Logue said. “Once they audition, then that number will go up.”
Logue also said the concert gives high school students a chance to perform with college students. For some students, it provides an opportunity to sing music they might not get to perform in their local schools.
Between 100 to 200 high school students take part in the event.
The Norfolk High School choir with about 50 members has been invited to serve as the guest choir.
Midland’s Chamber Choir and the Clef Dwellers will perform as well.
“This started as a way to bring the community together and give an opportunity to sing diverse music,” Logue said.
Future plans involve continuing to expand the type of music being performed.
“We try to have music that is diverse that represents more than just our own culture,” Logue said. “We’re constantly looking for – not only gospel music now – but other types of music, whether it be African or Celtic, things that are from a wide variety of genres.”
This can provide various lessons for students.
“The more you know about a person and a culture, the less threatened you are by a culture and I think music is a thing that brings us together. It’s a common language,” he said.
Logue said Thrivent Financial has supported this financially.
“They’ve been a great partner in this throughout the years and will continue to do so,” he said.
For event information and to purchase tickets visit: www.midlandu.edu/tickets or call 402-941-6399 or stop by the box office in Kimmel Theatre. The theater box office is open from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
High school students receive free tickets by visiting: info.midlandu.edu/freetickets
Tickets also will be available at the door.
Logue invites area residents to attend.
“They’ll hear some great music,” Logue said. “They’ll see students from all over. They’re going to have fun with the variety of music we have and it adds a lot of interest to it.”