That’s a Wrap!


With the close of 2013–2014 season, we decided to take a look back at some of the highlights from the year with Turtle Creek Chorale veterans as well as newcomers. Some favorites quickly emerged.

“The holiday concerts are my absolute favorite memories for every season,” says new Turtle Creek Chorale Membership Vice President Elect Tri Truong. “We make [audiences] laugh, cry, and feel every other emotion in a span of two hours — it’s pretty amazing.”

That audience connection is what keeps Bob McCranie, a Turtle Creek Chorale member for three and a half years, coming back year after year. “We sang for 20 days straight,” he says. “You kind of do it because you love it.” Recalling a performance for the kids at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, McCranie says that watching their faces light up is one of those moments that make you think, “This is why we’re singing.”

For newcomer David Barnes, who joined the Chorale this January, the recent collaboration with Uptown Players on Sweeney Todd was unforgettable, especially since he got to enjoy the show both as a performer and an audience member.

“I think it really melded the two organizations and heightened the talents of each,” he says.

McCranie also fondly recalls last year’s collaboration with Grammy-winning Christian singer Sandi Patty in June’s “Inspiration & Hope” show. “She became one of the Chorale,” he says. “She was so complimentary and giving, sticking around to take pictures with everyone who wanted one. She made that concert so enjoyable.”

Another big favorite was last month’s divalicious season closer, a show everyone seems to have a story about, both onstage and off.

Truong, who was one of the principal dancers in the show, recalls that every dance rehearsal was “like a sweaty Zumba class at the gym. It’s also hard to get 150-plus guys to learn dance moves for numbers like ‘Son of a Preacher Man and Rehab,’ but Jeremy Dumont did a great job and those two numbers were fantastic!”

Watching the solo numbers, many of which aren’t even seen by the full group until rehearsals, was another highlight. For Barnes, performing Patsy Cline’s “Crazy,” his first TCC solo, was “an awesome honor.” While McCranie remembers seeing Ethan Laurence and Bryan Carey perform their soulful rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Want to Dance With Somebody” for the first time saying, “We all just had our jaws on the stage. It was stunning.”

United in Song


By Todd Camp 

Looks like there’s no rest for the weary.

After months of preparation and two performances of their high-energy Divas Gone … But Not Forgotten concert, not to mention the subsequent striking of the show, for several members of the Turtle Creek Chorale Camerata, at least, the work isn’t over. A select group of singers will have yet another performance just an hour and a half after the last Divas show. Deep breath, guys.

The audience? Only more than 1500 mayors from across the country, including Dallas’ own Mayor Mike Rawlings. They’re visiting Dallas as part of the 82nd Annual United States Conference of Mayors June 20-23 at the Omni Dallas Hotel.

While touring the Dallas Arts District on Sunday, June 22, the mayors will have the opportunity to enjoy a cultural taste test of sorts.

“Each of the district’s major performance spaces will feature mini performances from some of Dallas’ best talent,” says Turtle Creek Chorale Development/Marketing Director Caroline French. “It’s a chance to not only show off the city’s cultural vibrancy but also the exceptional quality of its arts organizations.”

First up, of course, will be Turtle Creek Chorale’s Camerata a cappella ensemble performing a yet undecided set list.

While the mayors will be working throughout the daytime sessions to find bipartisan solutions for spurring job creation and economic growth in their cites, it’s nice to think that, if only for a few short moments, they can be unified by a shared love of beautiful music.

Which Diva Do You Favor?


By Todd Camp

When Turtle Creek Chorale takes the Dallas City Performance Hall stage June 20-22 for this season’s final performances, they’ll be running on pure grrrl power. The Divas Gone … But Not Forgotten performance will channel a diverse array of legendary female vocalists, from Amy Winehouse to Tammy Wynette. But if your diva knowledge is limited only to Judy or Babs, you better brush up on at least two of these legendary ladies whose work will be featured in the show.

Whitney Houston

Diva status: Superstar Props: Cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most awarded female act of all time (a total of 600 awards!), Houston’s somewhat limited catalog (only six studio albums, a holiday album, and three soundtrack albums), boasts nearly 200 million record sales worldwide. She’s also the only artist ever to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. Signature song: So many contenders to choose from, but her iconic cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,”from the original soundtrack to the film The Bodyguard (in which she also starred), is untouchable and is only the best-selling single by a woman in history. Personal struggle: Her volatile marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown and her public battle with substance abuse made her the subject of ridicule late in her career, but after her tragic drowning in a bathtub in 2012, brought on by complications from heart disease, Houston’s effervescence and powerhouse vocals are something for which she will never be forgotten.

Karen Carpenter

Diva status: Underdog Props: Together with her brother Richard, under the band name The Carpenters, Karen was not only an amazing singer, but an accomplished drummer as well. With 11 studio albums and her own solo album, Karen and her siblings were major stars in the ‘70s, racking up several No. 1 hits. Signature song: There’s no definitive answer here and fans will definitely debate these choices, but it would probably be a toss-up between their No. 1 hit “(They Long to Be) Close to You” written by the legendary songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David; and their No. 2 hit “We’ve Only Just Begun.” Personal struggle: Though her brother’s struggle with drug dependency affected the duo’s touring shows, Karen’s lifelong battle with anorexia nervosa ultimately caused her death by heart failure in 1983 and sparked a national discussion on the issue.