‘Aurora’ performs: Where harmony and choreography mix it up; Tony Smiley opens Nov. 30

Aurora, HRV’s newest pop/rock ensemble, will take the stage for its first ever concerts on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Made up of eleven outstanding singer-dancers and a small rhythm section, Aurora covers a huge range of styles, from soul to rock, from folk pop to classical vocal music like Ola Gjeilo’s evocative “Tundra.”

Director Mark Steighner explains that Aurora is “the evolution of our 10-year-old Spectrum program,” referring to the rock ensemble formed every year by a changing cast of HRVHS musicians.

“I think of it as ‘Spectrum 2.0,” Steighner. “We’ve added choreography and are focused on the joy of great singers having fun making music together.”

Spectrum groups have traditionally been largely student-directed, and Aurora still includes a strong element of that.

“The students have selected a lot of the music and collectively worked to choreograph the songs. In many cases, they’ve created or adapted the vocal arrangements as well.”

The first concert has the added excitement of a well-known musician—”Loop Ninja” Tony Smiley—who has donated his time to be Aurora’s opening act on Nov. 30.

Smiley, who is a phenomenal solo artist and former HRV musician, plays dozens of concerts a year and has won national competitions for his unique, “real time” music creation and performance.

The concerts begin at 7 p.m. in the Bowe Theater. Admission is $6 for adults and $5 for students.

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