Musical benefits: Choir hosts food bank benefit concert

Alexandria Oguntula, Staff Writer

Voices can be powerful, but this month the have brought a whole new meaning to the phrase.  Plano, Highland Park and Garland High are collaborating for the first time ever to help the North Texas Food Bank in their efforts to feed others with a joint benefit concert on Oct. 25th.

With almost 300 singers, all three choirs have been internationally recognized and state- recognized

“Individually we are all three seen as choral giants in a sense, but what people aren’t aware of is that we are all three friends,” choir director Derrick Brookins said. “You would think people of that ilk would be warring with each other, but we are not. We support each other.”

The concert has created an opportunity for all three choirs to come together for a good cause and showcase their talent at the same time.

“This brought a sense of brotherhood and unity and we thought we should come together for a reason, not just for the sake of it,” Brookins said. “We thought, ‘Who can we benefit for this?’ Being that it is October, it is getting close to the holiday season, close to Thanksgiving – we thought North Texas Food Bank.”

Choir president senior Anthony McKee estimated there would be 600 to 1000 people in attendance for the evening’s concert.

“There are the members from the choir, probably at least one parent from each person and other people around the metroplex coming in,” McKee said. “As well as other people who are involved in choir—choral directors that would also be interested in coming.”

The choir has specially, invited Dr. David Childs, the head music director at Highland Park United Methodist Church where the concert is being held. McKee shared his excitement about the pieces the choirs will perform.

“Probably the most exciting part about this is we are performing a piece by Dr. David Childs,” McKee said.  “He is a very good composer. All the choirs are having a workshop with him the day of the concert, so we will actually be able to work on the pieces with him. We have been putting in a lot of preparation into the pieces for that benefit.”

McKee said it has taken extra effort to get everything ready in time. However, this has been in the choir’s plans for far longer than the just this month. They began preparing in August and have been doing so for seven weeks, adding five songs to the regular workload.

“It’s been a lot of extra literature for us to learn.” McKee said. “On top of out literature for the ACDA convention we are performing in the spring and our fall literature,” McKee said. “So it has been a lot of music stacked up in the first couple months of school.”

WFAA news reporter Ron Coning will serve as the emcee for the evening, and there will be news coverage on channel 8 of the event. Brookins said most important part of the concert is the chance to help those less fortunate and that it will bring attention to the food bank in a fun way.

“The theme is North Texans helping North Texans,” Brookins said. “I know that the district likes to see its schools doing community outreach and so I think they’re happy to see Plano taking the lead in that.”