Adults and children seeking an outlet for their musical talent are invited to audition for two new choirs forming in the Tri-Cities.
VOX & Company, a member of the East Tennessee State University Innovation Lab, is the brainchild of Dwight Whitworth, a minister of music with more than four decades of performance, leadership and experience.
“VOX is an acronym for ‘vocal outlet exchange,’” Whitworth explains, “because it offers an outlet for singers and players who don’t have an outlet for their talent and/or their genre of music, as well as for those who want to expand their performance opportunities with a larger group and on a broader scale.
“The people of this region are known for their inherent musical talent expressed through widely diverse musical styles,” he continued. “Oddly enough, there isn’t any venue that is inclusive of such diversity, especially now that many churches are transitioning from choirs to smaller contemporary worship teams.”
VOX & Company’s mission is to give these musicians the platform to explore a variety of music genres, allowing them to express their unique identities. It will provide opportunities for musicians who wish to broaden their “musical borders,” as well as for members of smaller choirs who would like to be part of something bigger.
VOX & Company is comprised of VOX, which aims to become the Tri-Cities’ largest mass choir with 300 singers; CANDLELIGHT, a 30-voice children’s choir for grades 2-8; and WHETSTONE, which offers vocal coaching, keyboard instruction and church music consultation services. VOX and CANDLELIGHT will also feature breakout groups.
Concerts featuring VOX and CANDLELIGHT will include a variety of musical genres, including Southern Gospel, Black Gospel, hymns, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, praise and worship, and classical, as well as music from across the globe.
VOX & Company also integrates emerging technology in their rehearsals, performances and recordings.
“VOX & Company has a passion for uncovering an individual’s musical genius,” said Dr. Audrey Depelteau, director of the ETSU Innovation Lab. “They are also passionate about fusing this musical talent with technology to create something new, vibrant and exciting.”
Auditions for VOX and CANDLELIGHT are scheduled throughout the Tri-Cities and will be held on the following dates: April 18 at Northeast State Community College, Blountville; April 20 in the Pine Room at Franklin Health and Fitness, Elizabethton; April 24 at ETSU in the D.P. Culp Center’s Martha Street Culp Auditorium; April 25 at Northeast State’s Bristol Campus; and April 27 at the Renaissance Arts Center and Theatre, Kingsport. All auditions will begin at 7 p.m.