Columbia has long been graced with a wealth of diverse cultural opportunities — the Town Theater was constructed in 1924 — but until 1996, the city’s choices for choral performances were limited. That all changed when Lillian Quackenbush founded the Sandlapper Singers, a 30-voice auditioned ensemble of men and women.
The key word here is auditioned: Anyone who ever sung in or listened to a choir or took choir class in school knows that it only takes one bad voice to spoil a performance. With the Sandlapper Singers, pitch makes perfect.
On Friday, the group, along with the concert choir from Lexington High School, will perform “The Sandlapper Singers presents: Portraits of Americans,” which will use music to explore America’s cultural roots. The title supports the theme of the season, “The Melting Pot,” which Quackenbush chose for its current relevance and, she says, “Because that’s who we are as both people and as Americans.”
To drive home the portrait theme even further, Quackenbush has posted photos of each of the singers as children and as adults on two large display boards. Audience members are invited to match each childhood portrait with the current image. Ten correct matches will win you a season pass to Sandlapper Singers performances next year; get all of them correct and you’ll be the guest of Lillian Quackenbush for dinner. Winners will be announced at the post-performance reception.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 6952 St. Andrews Road, Columbia. Tickets are $15; for more information, visit sandlappersingers.org
Katie McElveen, Special to The State