Inspired by the wildly popular Fox TV series “Glee,” the City of Redmond’s Old Fire House Teen (OFH) Center will form its very own “OFH Glee Club” this fall.
Eric Weber, who teaches voice and strings at Pacific Music in downtown Redmond, will oversee a series of Glee Club workshops at the OFH in October and November, teaching confident vocalists, ages 13-18, the finer points of singing four-part harmonies: soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
“We hope to have time to learn several songs and have kids select and arrange a few also. Maybe some straight out of the ‘Glee’ repertoire such as ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey and Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love,’ although with no choreography or heavy instrumentation,” Weber noted.
“It will be more traditional, a cappella arrangements. I also hope to have the kids decide on a tune or two of their own,” he explained. “This could steer them toward something from ‘Glee’ or a popular singer like Beyonce or a true Northwest group like Death Cab for Cutie.”
Pacific Music, with a wide range of accomplished instructors, offers private vocal and instrumental lessons to students of all ages and abilities.
Weber, a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, remarked, “When (the video games) ‘Guitar Hero’ and ‘Rock Band’ got big, we had lots of new interest among kids and adults who wanted to do the real thing — learn to play guitar.”
Similarly, many local teens with either serious interest or curiosity about vocal music, have requested more singing opportunities outside of school, especially since “Glee” became a hit.
“Choir experience is great, but not required,” said Weber, who is also teaching “Singing 101” classes at the teen center in September and October.
“Some kids don’t have the opportunities to do it in school … but if someone has the ability to sing along with a record, meaning singing all the different parts on their own,” they could be candidates for the Glee Club, he said.
The initial OFH Glee Club ensemble will be very small and Weber hopes that the students will find at least one place to perform for the public, maybe at Soul Food Books and Cafe in downtown Redmond.
Soul Food co-owner Clint McCune is chairman of the Redmond Arts Commission and Soul Food regularly features local talent on its cozy, coffeehouse stage. In fact, Pacific Music students often perform there, with recitals which are open to the community at large.
“We have a good relationship with Soul Food and they broadcast performances online, live, and archive them, too,” Weber added.
If interest is sufficient, the OFH Glee Club could become an ongoing activity.
Although the Glee Club workshops don’t begin for a while, advance registration is required and fees apply. The workshops will be held on Mondays from 7-8:30 p.m., Oct. 25-Nov. 29. The fee for City of Redmond residents is $45, or $51 for non-residents.
“Singing 101” classes, from 7-8 p.m. Mondays, Sept. 27-Oct. 18, will cost $35 for Redmond residents and $42 for non-residents.
For more information about Eric Weber and Pacific Music, visit www.eric-weber.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Old Fire House Teen Center is located at 16510 NE 79th St. For more information, visit www.theoldfirehouse.org or call (425) 556-2370.