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The sounds will be a little different this time around for a choral group from Pauls Valley preparing for their next performance this spring.

After a holiday-style program several weeks ago, the nonprofit Garvin County Choral Society and Sinfonietta will hold special auditions next week for a very different kind of performance.

Auditions scheduled for 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, January 30 at First Presbyterian Church in Pauls Valley are set to launch a handful of soloists for a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance coming in April.

Director Jack Bowman was thrilled with the band’s first performance of Handel’s Messiah program in November and expects an even bigger event with the next one.

“It’s an operetta, which is a little comic opera. It’s a fun show and nobody dies,” Bowman said with a chuckle.

“It’s about pirates off the south coast of England. We will have 12 soloists and that is what the auditions are for.

“We will have a big chorus where the roles will be pirates, policemen and the daughters of a major general. If you want to be in the choir, you don’t have to audition. All you have to do is introduce yourself.

“We will take anyone who comes. We did it with Messiah and we had a wonderful choir. I expect this one to be an even bigger chorus. We can have 20 to 100 in the choir.

As for the soloists, they will be much more specialized as those selected will have different types of voices – from soprano to baritone to bass to tenor to contralto.

“If you want to be one of the lead singers, you have to come to the audition.”

It’s also this part that stands out, as Bowman says there’s a lot of interest from far beyond Pauls Valley and Garvin County.

“What interests me is that we have students and teachers from four universities planning to come and audition,” he said.

“It’s exciting to have young people and teachers from these universities who want to be here for this.”

This includes East Central University in Ada, Cameron University in Lawton, Southern Nazarene University near Oklahoma City, and the University of Oklahoma in Norman.

“We want to make sure we don’t exclude people from Garvin County because we’re a Garvin County band.

“This is open to everyone as we will choose the strongest cast possible.”

Anyone interested in being part of the choir is invited to contact Bowman in advance at his email address [email protected]

Ultimately, the plan is to hold two performances in April – one in Pauls Valley and another in Oklahoma City.

About Marco C. Nichols

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