The Wizard of OZ with a Twist Sound-FX Choir prepares for upcoming concert

Sydney Jackson, Staff Writer

Interested in listening to vocal jazz, swing, or musical style music? Well, this February, the Sound-FX Choir is hosting a Wizard of OZ inspired concert with a time travel twist, including music from many different time periods. The Sound-FX choir is taught by head choir director Christin Reinartz. They specialize in vocal jazz, and swing with a combination of dancing making their performances a little more unique than the usual choir.


“It is actually an alternate story of Dorothy from Wizard of OZ. In our research on another theme, we stumbled on this option, which is this story of home and Dorothy. There is a little bit of time travel involved as well,” said Reinartz.


The songs for the concert are currently being kept as a surprise. Though, Reinartz gave an insight into what the theme of the concert would be. It is an alternate story of Dorothy from the Wizard of OZ with time travel, written by the Sound-FX members and the directors themselves. The story references the Wizard of OZ with the story’s message of the importance of home even if it is not physical. This theme is similar to the Wizard of OZ, where Dorothy realizes the importance of home after she returns to her home from Emerald City.


“We’re always working to not only extend, but also exercise all parts of our range for the female and male voices,” said Reinartz.


To vocally prepare for this concert, the choir focuses on their general technique and skills by exercising their voices. The main exercise Reinartz has the choir do are range extensions. She does not want her students to only have one type of voice, and instead a variety of ranges. She encourages students to sing outside of their comfort zone. For women, she has them sing both alto and soprano parts; for men, she has them sing higher than they usually would.


“We generally work on our skills and vocal techniques, beyond that, we attach those techniques to the learning process of songs. Typically when we take a song, we divide it into smaller sections … [ our ] music is broken up into both pitch and arrangement of pitch and rhythm and arrangement of rhythm,” said Reinartz.


The techniques and skills they exercise are then attached to the learning process of concert pieces. The learning process for concert pieces are broken up into two areas of focus: pitch and rhythm. They start by isolating the rhythm, then isolating the notes. Then the lyrics come into play. Reinartz teaches the Sound-FX choir to learn how to not only sing in English, but other languages as well. The most common languages they sing in are French, Italian, German, and Latin, the “love languages.” But many other languages are sung as well, so lyrics can be challenging to learn.


The original date of the concert was moved from the first weekend in December to Friday Feb. 18 and Saturday Feb. 19. The concert will be held at 7 p.m. on both days in the OTHS PAC.