By Keith Strange Staff Reporter
October 16, 2013
The sounds of the 1960s-era Motor City will come to life this month at Mount Airy High School.
VOCE, a local choral ensemble, will pay tribute to Motown as the group opens this year’s concert season.
The event, billed as “not one to be missed,” will get under way at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28, in the auditorium of Mount Airy High School, according to Mark Gillespie, the ensemble’s director of publicity.
This first concert will feature international singing sensation Melva Houston, who has performed with Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave and The Platters. Houston will perform with Charlotte native Kevin Jones, who Gillespie said has the voice to make the music come alive.
“(Jones) has been singing gospel, rhythm and blues and jazz since he was a child,” he said. “He travels extensively, performing and amazing audiences with his talent.”
Gillespie said that after years of performing heavier, more classical selections, organizers wanted to lighten up just a bit.
“We wanted to break out of the box,” he said Tuesday morning. “Everything we’d done for years had been on the classical end, and we wanted something that perhaps is a little more palatable to the general public.”
He said he is generally excited for the public to hear the performance.
“Between Melva and Kevin Jones, it will be a true Motown performance,” Gillespie added. “I’m telling you, this concert is going to rock.”
Which is exactly what organizers had in mind.
“We had to do something to appeal to the audience,” Gillespie said. “And (artistic director Patti Miller Fulk) decided to step out of the box and try Motown and it sounds just great. This is going to be light and fun, and will have people dancing in the street.”
The performance will include hits like “Under the Boardwalk,” “Superstition,” “Stand By Me,” and medleys from both The Supremes and The Temptations.
Motown Records was formed in Detroit in 1959 by Berry Gordy, who put together a team of songwriters, promoters and backup singers to create groups like Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and Stevie Wonder.
Tickets to the concert are $10, and are available by calling Gillespie at 789-2035.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.