It worked on Broadway for the musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood, which allowed an audience vote to determine which of several endings would be performed on any given night. It worked closer to home for the South Carolina Philharmonic, which leaned on audience feedback in hiring a new conductor in 2008. Following this entertaining theatrical and musical tradition, the Sandlapper Singers will call on audience participation in selecting their new artistic director this fall, when founding Director Dr. Lillian Quackenbush embarks on her 20th and final season prior to a well-earned retirement.
Having posted more than 125 fabulous concerts around the Southeast on their resume, the Sandlapper Singers are accustomed to excellence in both preparation and performance, so audiences can expect candidates for Lillian’s replacement to be top of the line. The two finalists for the position will display their skill — and that indefinable quality called stage presence, which Lillian has in plenty — by rehearsing and conducting the Singers in one of the October 2015 concerts. After the performance, audience comments will be welcomed for consideration in selecting the group’s new director.
To accelerate the fun and celebrate the launch of the Sandlapper Singers’ 20th Anniversary Concert Series, a Singing With the Stars party is scheduled for Sept. 17 at 701 Whaley. The invitation is enticing: “Come dressed as your favorite singer and win a prize!” On the agenda is a special guest emcee, heavy hors d’oeuvres, liquid refreshments and the Dick Goodwin Quintet. Guests are urged to wear dance shoes worthy of Dick Goodwin’s toe-tapping rhythms.
The rest of the season holds just as much pleasure and, as always, highlights made-in-America choral works. December’s holiday concerts, which feature a small orchestra, promise a recap of the Singers’ very first performance in 1996. After the turn of the year, February will bring world-renowned composer Libby Larson’s choral drama of a James Dickey poem. April will breeze in with the premiere of a choral work by Donald McCullough, commissioned by the Sandlapper Singers especially for their 20th anniversary celebration.
The group’s fans will be pleased to hear that the Sandlapper Singers will continue to award an annual vocal scholarship and that a portion of the Singers’ ticket sales will continue to be donated to local public middle or high school choral programs experiencing funding challenges.
Visit SandlapperSingers.org/calendar.html for full details of the Sandlapper Singers’ 20th anniversary season.