Written By Alison Matas / November 7, 2019
SingStark! has been making music in Stark County for 80 years, but now it’s got a new name and a new sound.
You know SingStark! as VOCI, which was originally founded as the Canton Civic Opera in 1939. The choral organization for decades was known for its operas and musicals, and then it transitioned into a chorus that performed a handful of times a season.
But choral singing—and what that looks like—has evolved.
“When I came five years ago, this organization was one ensemble, and they did four concerts a year,” said Executive Director Carol Olson. “And now, you know, we’re just so much more than that and for anybody who likes to sing in the slightest. They like to sing in their shower, in the car, we have a place for them. And I think that’s important.”
Here’s what’s going on with SingStark!
• There’s still a main chorus, which is an auditioned ensemble that presents several concerts a year. This group will sing as part of the organization’s 80th anniversary celebration. A search for a new director for the group was underway earlier this fall.
• This is the second year for Vox Audio, an auditioned, 16-person a capella group that performs music similar in style to Pentatonix. Last year’s Christmas concert drew a crowd of more than 800 people. There will be two Christmas concerts this year and a spring “Legends” concert, which will highlight music from singers such as Dolly Parton and Michael Jackson.
• Just Sing, a pop-up choir, is open to anyone who wants to come learn a song and perform it all in one evening. With the construction going on at Centennial Plaza, Just Sing is meeting regularly at the Cultural Center for the Arts. Participants can enjoy a food truck, a bar and learn a song in three-part harmony. (This August’s song was “Dancing Queen” by Abba.) An unplugged acoustic version of Just Sing is held each month at Canton Brewing Company.
• Senior Sing, a program for seniors that focuses on the health benefits of singing, is in its third year. This fall, rehearsals are held at both the Aultman North and West campuses.
• SingStark! also is launching a new family series that includes hymn worship events and Disney movie singalongs.
Upcoming Singstark! events:
December 5: Senior Sing fall concert, 2 p.m. in the Bedford lobby at Aultman Hospital
December 5: Just Sing event, 7 p.m. at the Cultural Center for the Arts
December 14: Vox Audio “That’s Christmas to Me” concert, 2 and 7 p.m. at the GlenOak Center for the Performing Arts