HOLeY Jeans celebrates 20 years

This year vocal group HOLeY Jeans added a few more male voices to its musical offerings.

HOLeY Jeans will mark its 20th year with a concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Barrow-Civic Theatre in Franklin.

And this year the vocal group will add a few more male voices to its musical offerings.

“One exciting aspect of the group is that this year it will feature the largest group of male singers,” director Martha LaVerde-Heise said.

The group has 11 male singers who range in all ages and three more boys who work behind the scenes on the tech crew.

The concert will double as a celebration of the group’s 20 years as well as a fundraiser.

Titled “Back to the Future,” the concert will feature music that takes people “back” through the past 20 years, some favorite numbers from the current repertoire and then will take audience members to the future, LaVerde-Heise said.

The concert will also feature some members from the past. Former HOLeY Jeans members have been invited to be on stage to sing the final number which has been a part of the group for many years and is still very much in the heart of the members past and present, she said.

Andy Dutko, member from the first nine years of HOLeY Jeans who is now the Bradford High School vocal instructor, will direct one of the group’s past numbers.

In addition, some of the past members will speak during the concert. Past HOLeY Jeans members will receive free entrance to the concert.

The Oil Region Ballet, who the group has partnered with for the ballet’s production in February as providing opening music to their show, will also be presenting a number at Sunday’s concert.

Over the past 20 years, 362 youths have been involved in the group, according to LaVerde-Heise. There is also a scholarship for those in the group who graduate as members. The scholarship was formed in 2005 in honor of alumni and in memory of LaVerde-Heise’s father, Dr. Philip S. LaVerde, who was an avid supporter of the group. In addition, the group has received granting from PA Partners in the Arts, Edith Black and Justus trusts, as well as Venango Center for Creative Development support.

HOLeY Jeans is local non-profit vocal group under the direction of LaVerde-Heise.

The current group has 45 members in kindergarten through 12th grade from Venango, Clarion, Crawford, Forest and Mercer counties.

Members include Cambree Backer, Ashley Barletta, Martina Baughman, Zachary Beichner, Ally Dobson, Kayla Fagley, Hannah Fedorek, Ella Fisher, Sarah Fisher, Ella Frazier, Emily Frazier, Andrew Fox, Sarah Fox, Leah Fox, Sawyer Greene, Spencer Greene, Kyel Harry, Rachele Heasley, Lillie Heise, Steven Heise, Lizzy Hoovler, Emma Kish, Madison Kish, Regan Lashinsky, Danielle Laverdure, Nicole Laverdure, Aymen McElhinny-Braiber, Bailey McMahon, Kaitlynn Moore, Isabella Peterson, Bryce Preston, Chloe Preston, Samantha Pritchard, Morgan Rankin, DeLuca Schwartz, Reagan Shaw, Alyssa Shick, Charity Sprohar, Corey Sprohar, Zach Sprohar, Alexandra Webster, Harley Witton and Brooke Whitling. Sam Greene, Ben Dobson and Will McMahon serve on the tech crew.

The group has been performing at area churches, community events, festivals, service groups, party entertainment and various other activities. Although primarily Christian based, the group does a variety of music in addition to religious songs such as folk, patriotic, inspirational, Broadway and contemporary.

Over the past 20 years of performing, the group has traveled to Toronto, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Hershey, Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Erie and New York City.

Tickets for the concert are available at the Barrow-Civic Theatre box office by calling 437-3440 orhttp://www.barrowtheatre.com. Cost for the concert is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and $9 for children.