Spring Choral Concert to feature Mahogany, East Hill Singers
Baldwin City, Kan. — Baker University's annual Spring Choral Concert will feature renowned jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany and the East Hill Singers, a group from the Arts in Prison, May 3 at Rice Auditorium. The concert, which will also include performances from the Baker choirs, the Community Choir and the Baldwin City Children's Choir, is set for 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Mahogany, a 1981 Baker University graduate celebrating his 20th year as a recording artist, will sing with the choirs, including the premiere of works he and his arranger have prepared. Mahogany performed with various instrumental and vocal ensembles as a student at Baker and formed his own vocal jazz choir on the Baldwin City campus. He will participate in a weeklong residence April 29-May 3 at Baker, where he will practice with student groups and perform with the Symphonic Winds Concert on April 30 and the Chris Grubb Memorial Jazz Ensemble on May 2.
After graduating from Baker, Mahogany returned to his roots in Kansas City and played with a couple of bands before forming two groups, "Mahogany," a cross between contemporary R& B and jazz and "The Apollos," a 60's R&B dance band. Both groups allowed Kevin to attract a huge following in the Kansas City. In February 1993, Mahogany's debut album, "Double Rainbow," hit the record stores.
Through music, the East Hill Singers from the Lansing Prison refine life skills such as collaboration, confidence and accountability. Performing in community concerts helps the inmate singers build bridges back to their families and the communities they will be returning to. The group will sing several pieces by themselves and then join the other choirs at the concert.
"We will sing a wide variety of selections from Monteverdi and Brahms to premiere jazz works with Kevin Mahogany," said Matthew Potterton, director of choral activities at Baker. "Our choirs will also team up with the East Hill Singers. I love the Arts in Prison project, and I'm excited to collaborate with this outstanding group and organization."
The Baldwin City Children's Choir, directed by Amy Potterton, plans to perform a song at the end of the concert in memory of the students who were killed Dec. 14 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.
In November Mahogany is scheduled to return to Baldwin City in conjunction with Baker's annual jazz festival.