Sunday, March 11, 2018

How the Heartland Voices Twisted the Night Away

A large musical repertoire is a credit to any choir, but the talent and courage to perform it with costumes, dance and comedy sets the Heartland Voices apart from other area vocal groups.

Just one week ago, the Voices appeared in formal dress in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church, performing two sacred works accompanied by organ at the "Bach Around the Clock" event. Conducted by Artistic Director Dr. John Slawson, this is the choir you may know for its full, balanced sound, with crisp articulations and musical control.

Many of these same singers took the stage at the Kimball Street Theater to present "Twistin' the Night Away," a cabaret-style revue of music from the fifties and sixties. Accompanied by a tight three-piece band, they recreated the sounds of the Andrews Sisters, the Four Seasons and other memorable voices of the era in solos, trios and various lead-and-backing vocal arrangements.

Of course the music was good, but to see this sophisticated ensemble transform into a show choir was remarkable. In groups of three to eight, they executed modest but effective choreography by Konnie Kay Sherry, and solo performances sparkled with humor and personality. Enhancing this depth of talent, the first rate lighting and sound gave this show a professional look.

As guests of honor, David and Sandy Kaptain were recognized for their efforts in helping develop the cultural life of Elgin into an important part of its civic identity.

The Heartland Voices have played that role as well, offering eighteen years worth of proof that local talent combined with professional direction in a nicely equipped venue can produce affordable art and entertainment experiences that are the envy of northwestern Chicagoland.
Their next concert series entitled "She Writes the Songs" features the work of female composers, lyricists and poets. You can hear them April 20-22 in West Dundee, Elgin or Batavia. Find out more at