Choral group brings holiday spirit to SouthPark Mall

by Sarah Gilbert

Members of Queen City Groove, a mixed a capella group, perform holiday carols at SouthPark Mall Saturday, Dec. 3. (Sarah Gilbert/SCW photo)

SOUTHPARK – Shoppers enjoyed an extra dose of holiday cheer at SouthPark Mall Saturday, Dec. 3, courtesy of mixed a cappella group Queen City Groove.

The group spent the afternoon in the mall’s Center Court, singing carols and festive songs to entertain visiting crowds and children waiting in line for a chance to meet Santa Claus.

“It was really neat to see all of the people,” Lisa Workman, a soprano with the group, said.  “People were busy doing their Christmas shopping, so most of them could only stop by for a song or two, but we had one little girl who sat in front of us for what must have been 30 minutes, listening with the biggest smile on her face.  It was great.”

The group, which formed over the summer and now consists of seven members, performs regularly at sporting events, corporate parties and local destinations like the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.

“We love singing Christmas songs, but we also sing anything from jazz, rock, standards, ballads, country and contemporary songs,” Workman said.  “We really try to touch on different genres of music because we try to tailor it to the crowd we’re performing for.”

At SouthPark Mall, the group entertained the shoppers with holiday classics like “Jingle Bells,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and the crowd-pleasing “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.”

“Performing at the mall was so much fun,” Workman said.  “The best part was watching the crowd stop by, seeing their smiles and just the enjoyment of the people.  That’s why we sing.”

The group also has experience performing in competitions.

“Earlier this year we entered Sing!, which is a national singing competition,” Workman said.  “We made it into the semifinal round and we performed at Birkdale Village in Huntersville on October 8, which was really exciting.”

The singers live across Mecklenburg, Gaston and Iredell counties and often travel long distances for practices and performances, although Workman says that being a part of their unique group is worth the effort.

“We are the only true mixed a cappella group in the Charlotte area,” Workman said.  “We’re excited about that, but we also want to promote a cappella because we love it and we’d like to see it grow.”

A cappella, a musical style that involves singing without being accompanied by instruments, is a style well-suited for performances in well-traveled public places, Workman says, because the performances don’t require microphones, special equipment or a lot of space.

“Our job is to get moving, get out there and get seen,” Workman said.  “Charlotte has tons of music, but we’d love to see an all female and an all male a cappella group form, and maybe see a group come together at” the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

After the holiday season and the festive performances wrap up, the group members will begin working on a number of new projects, including preparing for a concert in the spring.

“We love doing Christmas shows, but we’re also excited about January and getting started on some new stuff,” Workman said.  “We’ll be working on new material, getting into the recording studio and performing gigs.”

Find more information about Queen City Groove including a list of upcoming performances at its website, www.queencitygroove.com.

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