College to unveil show choir, nodding to popularity of 'Glee'

SUNY Oswego’s 22-student Vocal Effect show choir will debut Thursday, Feb. 10, spinning off the hit TV show “Glee” with a song- and dance-filled night at Waterman Theatre of Tyler Hall.

Artists such as the Black Eyed Peas, Beyonce, Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones will provide the recorded accompaniment for the 8 p.m. show. Doors will open at 7:15 p.m.

“I would say, for awareness of what we’re trying to do with the show choir, we owe a lot to ‘Glee,’” said Nate Emmons, founder and director of Vocal Effect, and also assistant dean of students and coordinator of orientation programs.

But Emmons pointed out that interest in forming a show choir bubbled up from students, starting with Laker Leaders—new-student orientation volunteers—at last summer’s welcoming sessions. They received ovations from orientation audiences with energetic choreography to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

After Emmons e-mailed first-year students, scheduled meetings to gauge interest, then held auditions, Vocal Effect was born in October. Some members participated in high school show choirs, and all have significant previous singing and dancing experience, though most are not music majors, he said

The show choir is SUNY Oswego’s first, and one of the relative few among colleges and universities. Emmons said colleges nationwide generally have been slower to re-enter the age of glee clubs and to support their modern equivalent, show choirs, than high schools.

“The challenge was starting this in mid-semester. The students’ schedules were already created, and we then had to figure out rehearsal times,” Emmons said.

Emmons said the troupe now is ready to go public with a high-energy night of dancing and singing to “I Got a Feeling” by Black Eyed Peas, “Come Sail Away” by Styx, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones, a Michael Jackson medley and more.

Tickets priced at $5 ($3 for SUNY Oswego students with ID) are available at the college’s box office locations, online at or by calling 312-2141. Parking is free in campus lots on evenings and weekends.

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(Posted: Jan 31, 2011)