Madison Chorale to perform Broadway hits for spring concerts

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published April 18, 2018

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Tunes from such musicals as “Porgy and Bess,” “Oliver,” “Cats,” “Gypsy,” “Les Misérables” and “Rent” will be performed during the Madison Chorale’s spring concert series, titled “Playing Broadway!” 

Showtimes are at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29, and 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 4, at the United Methodist Church of Madison Heights, 246 E. 11 Mile Road in Madison Heights, near John R Road. 

Tickets cost $15 at the door or $12 in advance by calling (248) 399-5953. A family package is also available for $30, and includes parents and children up to age 12. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.madisonchorale.org. 

The show will include both group performances and solo renditions. The Madison Chorale is an auditioned and intergenerational group of singers consisting of 32 members from such cities as Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Clawson, Troy, Warren, Oak Park, Clinton Township, Rochester, Pleasant Ridge and Macomb Township. 

“We have fun but we work hard, always with the goal to provide a moment of solace or joy or encouragement, of thoughtful introspection or of contemplation,” said Brenda Braidwood, of Madison Heights, the group’s business manager and secretary.

The Madison Chorale also serves the community with outreach concerts to seniors and veterans, including an upcoming performance for senior residents May 1 at Waltonwood Royal Oak. 

The director of the group is Vincent Halkey, joined by accompanist Chancellor Wyman, both of Hazel Park. Halkey has taught music for nearly 20 years. 

His vocal career began at Lamphere High in Madison Heights, where he was born and raised. He nurtured his talents as a tenor at Central Michigan University and went on to earn a master’s degree in vocal performance at the University of Akron, as well as a master’s degree in education from Marygrove College. 

Halkey has performed at such prestigious venues as E.J. Thomas Hall and Carnegie Hall, and in classic operas such as “Tosca,” “The Mikado” and “Cosi Fan Tutte.” He’s currently the vocal music instructor for Eaton Academy in Eastpointe. 

“The theme of Broadway came out of the response to the tribute to Richard Rodgers from the last spring concert,” Halkey explained. “Our audience has an attachment to the classic music of Broadway and the emotion it evokes through memorable melodies and poignant lyrics. There’s a wealth of Broadway tunes in our repertoire. I thoroughly enjoy the genre.”  

He invited interested singers to try out later this year during the fall season open rehearsal, which will be held Sept. 5. The group practices Tuesday evenings at Wilkinson Middle School, 26524 John R. Road in Madison Heights, September through December and January through May.  

One of the newer members is Rhet Billings, of Troy. 

“My favorite high school memories were from joyful singing in the choirs. I was so surprised, thinking my director of yesteryear couldn’t be beat. But Vince Halkey takes the cake,” Billings said. “(The Madison Chorale) seems to melt my grown-up stresses away. In just a few short months, I can’t imagine my life without these people.”