Emily Pawlowski | Echo
The Grammys are coming early to Taylor's campus.
This Saturday at 6:30 p.m., the Taylor Chorale and Sounds will perform at their annual Valentine's Day Benefit Banquet. The theme for this year's dinner is "And the Winner Is…." All of the songs performed are either Grammy nominees or award winners.
"For the Grammys, that just includes so many different genres, so then the students can be creative with what they choose," JoAnn Rediger, professor of music and director of Chorale and Taylor Sounds said.
There will be a mixture of solos, duets and groups performing songs from popular media such as "West Side Story" and "Flashdance." Songs were chosen by students, who auditioned with their selections and were selected by Rediger.
Many of the songs are from dances or other energetic sources, meaning the students have to find ways to match that energy.
"The members of the Taylor Chorale and Sounds are not up on the stage the whole time, but at times mingling and singing throughout the tables of guests," senior Paige Kennedy said. "The event creates a light, fun, enjoyable atmosphere."
The more mainstream music presents a change of pace from the spiritual songs the Chorale and Sounds usually perform. Kennedy enjoys the chance to dress up and entertain guests over dinner. Senior Claire Heyen likes to see the songs different groups decide to perform.
Students enjoy the challenge of different music, but the banquet also serves a good cause. The first concert was held 23 years ago to raise money for trips to Israel and Jordan over spring break.
"We started it just to make our trip known and I thought it would maybe be a one time event," Rediger said. "But it seemed to be popular, and so we've kept it going."
Profits from this year's banquet goes toward the group's spring trip to the Bahamas, where the they will minister and perform around the country. Some of the activities include visiting orphanages, learning about Bahamian culture and hosting several concerts.
This is a dress-up event, and students are encouraged to dress as though they are attending the Grammys. Rediger encourages all to attend, assuring that there will be something for everybody.
"It's a lot of fun, it's high quality, and it benefits our touring program for sure," Rediger said.