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'Back Home Again': Singing Hoosiers to perform Great American Songbook at IU Auditorium



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Members of the Singing Hoosiers rehearse the routine of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" for their 68th annual Spring Concert this Saturday at the IU Auditorium. Founded in 1950, the Singing Hoosiers carry on over half a century of tradition as IU's ambassadors of song. Steven Lin Buy Photos

The Singing Hoosiers will perform its 68th annual Spring Concert, “Back Home Again,” at 2 and 7:30 p.m. April 14 at the IU Auditorium.

Tickets for the two-hour show are $5 for students and $25 for adults, and can be purchased at the IU Auditorium box office or at iuauditorium.com

“Back Home Again" picks up from the group’s October 2017 concert, “An American Story,” which showed how cultures’ journeys in coming to the United States helped to shape American music.

This show acts as a sequel to that one because we see it as an American journey in starting our lives and finding success, but always knowing we can come back home at the end of the day, Matthew Creek, logistics manager of the Singing Hoosiers, said.

Whereas “An American Story” had a more international focus, “Back Home Again” will focus on the importance of home. The Singing Hoosiers will pay tribute to the Great American Songbook, namely songs from Indiana-native composers and performers.

Ahona Mazumder, student manager of the Singing Hoosiers, said highlights would include a Michael Jackson medley, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Elton John, Billy Joe and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Summertime.” 

The Singing Hoosiers will be joined by Grammy Award-winning opera singer Sylvia McNair, a Jacobs School of Music professor who is known for her renditions of the Great American Songbook, as well as her long career with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. 

Creek said almost all the songs the Singing Hoosiers will sing have some tie to Indiana, whether through arranger, composer or performer. He said the Indiana connection will provide a sense of homecoming. He also said an eight-piece Jacobs band will accompany the 74 singers and dancers.

Mazumder said the group doesn’t often build its shows on themes, but Professor Chris Albanese, Singing Hoosiers' new director as of this year, suggested the idea and brought it to fruition.

The show will open with Jason Robert Brown’s “The New World” to signify travel before the the songs become more American in style, signifying a return home. 

“There’s something in it for everyone,” Mazumder said. “Everyone will be able to connect to one one song at least.”

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