A Tuesday night in late February found music lovers gathered at the Brownstone Center for the Arts for the Spring Variety Show. The PRCC Singers and The Voices were the main attractions for the evening with a short break for recognition of students.
The show both opened and closed with three songs performed by the PRCC Singers. Between those large group selections, several pieces were performed by smaller student groups who had to audition for a spot on the program.
Along with vocal talent, a few students incorporated instrumental performances.
This included a duet with student Alaysia Roberts on violin with Mrs. Hope Bass playing piano for “For the Beauty of the Earth” arrangement by Rickey Valadez.
Justin Wakeland and Micayla Jefferson performed the song “Shallow” by Stefani Germanotta.
Jonathan Freeman played guitar for several selections with different students singing the pieces “I’ve Got This Friend” by The Civil Wars, “Destination” by Nickel Creek, and “Flower Shops” by ERNEST.
Additionally, Nicholas Williams tickled the ivories for “Landslide” by Stevie Nicks with Taryn Monroe, Belle Moeller, and Mallorie Saucier joining him on vocals.
Attendees of the Spring Variety Show were able to hear The Voices perform “Hard Times” arranged by Jon Smith, one of the selections they sang at the American Choral Directors Association's Southern Region Conference in Raliegh, North Carolina.
The evening’s selections ended with “Stand Up” arranged by Roger Emerson for the movie “Harriet.” Students Joseph Mchenry and Kajira Myers had solos during the piece.
Along with the music, attendees learned about the 20/40/60 Challenge that students and faculty did from October 1 to February 1. The challenge was conceived and run by Dr. LaDona Tyson, Director of Choral Groups at PRCC, and Dr. Trevor Hunt, Director of the Brownstone Center for the Arts. Tasks include daily reading, healthy eating, exercise, water in-take, a social media post with #204060challenge in the caption, and daily practice of choir music.
While many began the challenge, few completed it. Students recognized for doing 20 consecutive days are Audrey Bolin, Charlie Byrd, Miranda Dixon, Jonathan Freeman, Brooke Jamison, and Jenna Morrison. Two students, Gracie Jones and Sam Miller, completed 40 days. And five students, Anna Resse Arroyo, Micayla Jefferson, Garret Rester, Brooke Stuart, and Justin Wakeland, completed 60 days.
Wakeland is a Hattiesburg resident and freshman this year. He found the challenge a struggle at times, but he was determined to dust himself off and keep going to reach the 60 consecutive days. “The challenge helped me with my health and with my work as it helped me create a schedule of things I needed to do.”
A Brooklyn resident and freshman PRCC student, Jefferson is continuing with aspects of the challenge. “I’ve kept the regular music practice and a few of the other things while adding other items to fit my goals. Daily reading was not something I liked, although the book “The Code. The Evaluation. The Protocols: Striving to Become an Eminently Qualified Human” by Jocko Willink did resonate with me on the topics of leadership and survival.”
As part of the 20/40/60 Challenge, the PRCC Singers voted on a charity to support. They collected over $500 plus additional donations for the Hope Clinic in Hattiesburg.
Tyson also presented the new Heart and Soul Award to a member of the PRCC Singers. This year’s recipient, Kajira Myers, is a shining example of a dependable, hardworking student who always comes to choir with a smile on her face.
“The inaugural Heart and Soul Award was given to Kajira Myers in recognition of her outstanding attitude and work ethic in choir each day,” said Tyson. “She promotes teamwork, diligence, and joy each day and I wanted to recognize that.
“We talk a lot about being good humans BEFORE being a good musician, and she exemplifies this ideal.”
April will offer several opportunities to enjoy performances by students at PRCC.
The Little Mermaid — April 7 & 8 at 7 p.m.; April 9 at 2 p.m.
Wind Ensemble & Concert Band — April 12 at 7 p.m.
JazzCats & The Voices — April 21 at 7 p.m.
Tickets for each event can be purchased at prcc.edu/brownstone/events or by calling 601-403-1180. Purchases are for assigned seats chosen at the time of purchase. A discount is given for groups of 11 or more tickets.
For more information about safety protocols in place at PRCC, please visit prcc.edu/coronavirus.