In the midst of many days of frigid weather, CH-UH student musicians provided a delightfully warm performance Tuesday evening at the Reaching Musical Heights Concert at the historic Severance Hall. Vocal and instrumental musicians performed Broadway show tunes, classical and gospel music.
“We are a multi-cultural community and I am proud that our music programs include music from many cultures,” said Reaching Heights Executive Director Krista Hawthorne. “It is the soundtrack of our children’s school days - the musical score they will remember forever.”
Reaching Musical Heights 2015 Photo Gallery
Photos by Carl Jenks.
The fourth quadrennial concert is sponsored by Reaching Heights and is a celebration of musical excellence. The concert is supported by many community music patrons and has become an important event for students, families and music teachers.
The concert opened with the Guys and Dolls Broadway show, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat that included an all ages ensemble of vocalists and instrumental musicians. This joyful performance set the tone for the evening.
Other performing groups included vocal honors ensembles from the elementary and middle schools, and a middle school honors instrumental ensemble. Groups from the high school included the Gospel Choir, Symphonic Winds, Men’s Barbershoppers, A Cappella Choir and Singers.
Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon welcomed the audience members and thanked Reaching Heights and Hawthorne for their leadership and contributions to music excellence in our District. After the concert she said, “The show was such an uplifting event and it showcased our students at the world famous Severance Hall! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen.”
Honorary Chair Geoffrey Golden, 2012 Heights High School graduate and winner of BET’s Sunday Best, performed a spirited solo with the Gospel Choir. When at the speaking podium, he thanked the community and District for the wonderful music education that he received. He also encouraged students to be persistent in pursuit of their goals.
The theme of persistence was evident on the morning of the show when bitterly cold temperatures lead to the cancellation of school. It also lead to an early morning meeting between District and Reaching Heights leaders and music teachers to implement Plan B for a day of rehearsals at Severance Hall.
“It was simply amazing to see everyone come together to make the event happen,” said Reaching Heights Assistant Director Lisa Hunt.”
Many of the concert guests also attended a pre-concert benefit reception in the box seat promenade. The Heights High Jazz Combo provided music for the party.
Reaching Heights was formed in 1989 and is a citizen voice for public education and a resource for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights schools. Reaching Heights hosts a summer camp for CH-UH students and offers scholarships for private music lessons.