Mezzo Soprano Heather Marie Benson, currently finishing her degree in Vocal Performance and Vocal Music Education at Hope College, will make an appearance on WXMI Fox 17 on Friday, October 21, during the 7 a.m. news hour.
The appearance will be to promote an alumni fund raising show for her high school.
Benson is a graduate of Mona Shores High School in Muskegon. At Hope she has been a four-time NATS first place winner, and was the recipient of the Irma Cooper 'Most Promising Artist' award at the regional NATS competition in 2011. She has performed at a variety of theatres in the West Michigan area, her most recent credits including Street Scene (Emma Jones) for the Hope College Opera Theatre, and Once Upon a Mattress (Princess Winnifred) for Central Park Players.
Appearing with Benson will be Matthew D'Oyly, assistant producing director of Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.
The alumni performance will be Saturday, Oct. 22. at Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts in Muskegon at 7:30 p.m.
D'Oyly is producing it. "Pop Go the Sailors - Home Again 2" will feature an opera singer who toured with Leonard Bernstein, an original cast member of Broadway's Rent, Scarlet Pimpernel and Civil War; and another from Cry Baby and Hairspray. A bluegrass artist with a CD presently ranked #3 on the Bluegrass Billboard Charts.
According to Matthew D'Oyly, this is one show that the public won't want to miss.
"This is our second alumnus fundraiser show and it will feature performers from every decade since the school was established over fifty years ago," said D'Oyly. "Along with our current choir members, professional performers will include Broadway actors Gilles Chiasson and Carly Jibson, opera singer Gwenneth Bean, and Paul Hoffman, a member of the bluegrass band 'Greensky, Bluegrass,' among others."
Tickets for the show are $20 each and can be purchased through StarTickets or through the Frauenthal Box Office (231-727-8001). All proceeds will go to the Mona Shores Choir endowment fund in care of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
"The endowment fund was created six years ago in an effort to keep voices singing and to provide everyone the opportunity to participate in trips, voice lessons, or other opportunities offered to all Mona Shores Choir students," said D'Oyly who started the foundation with his mother Marcia. "Those who come to the concert will witness the talent that this fund helps support. The show will include vocal performances by Singers, the top choir at the High School, and musical numbers by a group of internationally renowned professional performers who were once members of the Mona Shores Choir."
Immediately following the concert, an afterglow reception will be held at the Gallery of the Hilt Building in Muskegon. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased when ordering tickets for the concert.