IU’s ambassadors of song soon changed tack, busting out the fast-paced “Keep Movin’” and pumping up the audience for an energetic show.
Claps and cheers from the audience replaced the silence.
The Singing Hoosiers smoothly transitioned to Hoagy Carmichael’s “Georgia on my Mind,” swapping their hip-hop dance moves for snapping and swaying.
Director Steve Zegree, in his debut performance with the group, greeted the crowd and encouraged them to shout “Wooo!” during the solos.
“This is not a symphony orchestra concert,” he said. “You can make noise.”
After a rendition of Charles Calhoun’s “Smack Dab in the Middle,” special guest Tim Noble took the stage.
Noble is a distinguished professor in the Jacobs School of Music and a former associate instructor for the Singing Hoosiers.
“You have no idea how lucky I am to still be awake at this hour,” he said to the audience. When they laughed, he added, “You think I’m kidding.”
Noble and Zegree bantered before and after each of Noble’s songs, telling the audience the story of how they met and came to work together.
The guest performer sang “Gonna Build a Mountain,” then surprised the audience with “Sorrento,” which was not listed in the program.
He concluded his set with “Ya Got Trouble” from The Music Man, the show that earned him a Grammy nomination. The students sang backup.
The concert continued with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and the overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” by Mozart.
Zegree paused occasionally to chat with the audience and acknowledge two eighth graders in the crowd who had come all the way from Crawfordsville, Ind., for the concert.
The pair was extremely vocal during the performance, and Zegree played off their enthusiasm.
Ly Wilder, assistant to the Singing Hoosiers, guest conducted “Stand Up and Make a Change,” a song she composed with Greg Jasperse.
The group also performed “Jingle Bell Fantasy” as a plug for their upcoming Chimes of Christmas Holiday Concert at the IU Auditorium.
“My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” concluded the show. The Singing Hoosiers received a standing ovation from the house.
Eighth graders Olivia Grady and Madison Reagan said they loved the show.
“It sounded like angels singing,” Grady said.
Junior Singing Hoosiers member Kiotta Marshall said she was happy with the performance.
“I’m very proud of us,” Marshall said. “We put in a lot of hard work, and the show showed that off.”
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