Las Vegas, N.M. – The Highlands University HU Singers present a production titled, A Variety Show, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. in the university’s historic Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave.
The majority of the musical selections include Elton John songs such as “Philadelphia Freedom” and “I Know the Truth.” Other pieces range from “Hysteria” by Def Leppard, “Not Even the King” by Alicia Keys, and “Caribbean Queen” by Billy Ocean.
Andre García-Nuthmann, director of Highlands University’s choral and vocal program, is the music director for the production and will accompany on piano. Theater faculty member Don Evans is the technical director for the production.
“The main inspiration for the HU Singers is a tribute to Elton John,” García said. “He is officially retiring from performing this year and we are going to acknowledge that with this program. The reason we called it A Variety Show is because we are also featuring music from other artists.”
García-Nuthmann said that Elton John was a big influence in his life as far as pop music was concerned.
“I was strictly a classical musician until I heard Elton John’s music. It opened my mind to other styles. I even joined a rock band for a while. My goal is to remind everyone, especially our students, how great the Elton John music is and to show how timeless it is,” García-Nuthmann said.
Highlands music professor Edward Harrington accompanies on bass, Reyes Montoya plays guitar, and Michael Campbell plays percussion.
Nicolas Evans is the assistant technical director and stage manager for the production, and Lynette Melendrez is the choreographer.
“We have a small but highly talented cast of singers. Each member will participate in the ensembles and also in solos,” García-Nuthmann said.
Vocal soloists for the HU Singers production include:
- Cierra Gomez, alto, sophomore vocal performance major, in “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J
- Donaciano Vigil, tenor, music production major, in “Devil’s Pie” by D’Angelo and “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” by Elton John
- Ron Martínez, community member, in “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John, and “Hysteria” by Def Leppard
- Ali Marin, alto, freshman music technology major, in “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John
- Chris Soveranez, tenor, freshman music technology and composition major, in “Philadelphia Freedom” by Elton John and “Adorn” by Miguel
- Lynette Melendrez, community member, “Your Song” by Elton John
- Cassidy Kear, soprano, senior music technology and composition major, “Not Even the King” by Alicia Keys
- Oksana Herrera, “I Know the Truth” by Elton John, and Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean
Tickets for the HU Singers’ A Variety Show production are $5 for general admission. Students and Highlands faculty are free with valid ID.