Picture a high school stage, curtains closed. The house lights dim, leaving everything in darkness. A voice comes out of the sound system.
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Grizzly Airlines..." she starts off. "This is your captain speaking." She proceeds to give the usual pre-flight (concert) spiel about electronic devices and flash photography, then wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable journey.
When she is done, there is an intro to that old classic, "Come Fly With Me." The curtains part, and there is the choir, ready and waiting.
That's my vision.
I had this idea a couple of months ago--or at least, an aviation theme for my October concert. Last year, we did "Drive," and at first, I was joking with myself. "Next year, I'll do airplanes, ha ha ha..." But the idea took root and before long, I realized it would be a great theme.
So I've secretly bought music and planned. I haven't told the kids yet--I'm saving it for the first day of school. I've bought "Come Fly With Me," (all references to booze edited in the arrangement I bought) "Fly Me To the Moon," "Blackbird" (because you've got to include the Beatles, always), and "Jet Set" from the Broadway musical Catch Me If You Can. I'm working on arrangement ideas of "Learn To Fly" and other flying-themed songs, like "Airplane" by Indigo Girls and "Leaving On A Jet Plane."
Broadway & Beyond: Come Fly With Me will take the audience from the excitement of air travel to the more philosophical side--flight as a form of freedom or escape (hence, "Blackbird").
My idea is to get a local shop to help me design a poster that brings to mind vintage airline posters, and to have the kids come up with ideas for what they want to wear.
I'm going to market the hell out of this concert, all over the community. I want it to be big, ambitious, and impressive--even though my choir is small. The big numbers will be "Come Fly With Me," "Fly Me To the Moon," and "Jet Set," full of choreography and cheese (not to mention great jazz harmonies). Other songs may feature only a few singers, or one section. This will not be your typical choir concert.
I'm so excited about this show that here I am in June, making arrangements on Finale and studying scores. I'm researching costume ideas and thinking of fun ways to market the one-night-only concert to the student body. By the time school starts, I'll have all the different parts recorded on piano to give to the kids so they can practice at home, and we will hit the ground running.
Fasten your seat belts, and put your seat backs and tray tables in the upright position!