By Adam Young

Special to The Ely Times

“What is songs eternity? Come and see! Mighty songs that miss decay–what are they? Crowds and cities pass away like a day. Books are writ and books are read–what are they? Years will lay them with the dead, sigh sigh. Trifles unto nothing dead they die!”

This is the text to the theme of the White Pine High School Singers 18th Annual Benefit Concert on Tuesday, November 13 on the WPHS Stage at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $3 at the door or can be purchased in advance from a choir member. All proceeds go towards the choir’s uniform, music, and travel expenses.

The beauty and power of music as a unifying force is unmatched. As they sing, students learn to put aside their individual egos for the good of the whole. They come together and work to create a feeling for the audience–and maybe even more importantly–for themselves. They are able to participate in the creation of art. This is a magical experience.

This year’s concert will feature guest performers from the University of Nevada, Reno. Vocal instructors Olga Perez Flora and James Flora are traveling to Ely to work with the high school singers providing individual coaching for students and tips and instruction for the choir as an ensemble. Part of bringing up the next generation in music is modeling and mentoring. So in addition to the mentoring that will take place in class, Drs. Perez will also model their musicianship for the singers and the community at the concert that night, performing selections such as the famous “Hebernera” from Carmen, the silly “I Am Aldolfo” from The Drowsy Chaperone and the Gershwin classic “Someone to Watch over Me.”

The Perezes will join with local vocalist Brittany Henriod and the WPHS Singers to perform Franz Biebl’s classic “Ave Maria,” a relatively recent version of the sacred and ancient Ave Maria text.

In addition to the November 13 concert, 32 members of the WPHS traveled to Elko on November 5 and 6 for the Northeast Nevada Regional Honor Choir. This was a great opportunity for students to network with other musicians and learn from a master instructor. The 32 WPHS joined with musicians from Elko, Spring Creek, Battle Mountain, Wells, Carlin, Lincoln County, and Humboldt County to create a force 140 strong. Prior to the honor choir taking the stage, each member choir has the opportunity to perform. The WPHS Singers presented a tender setting “Things That Never Die,” penned by Charles Dickens, and alluding to the enduring nature of friendship and song.

The WPHS Singers are directed by Adam Young and accompanied by Megan Van Tassell.