New a cappella group, Vocus, hopes to encourage community through music
When Joe and Kristen Eckstein were sweethearts at Bowling Green State University, they sang in the school’s a cappella choir.
Now, a decade later, the High Point couple want to share their musical talents with the High Point community, too. The Ecksteins have formed Vocus, a seven-member a cappella ensemble that will perform free of charge at area retirement communities, nursing homes, hospitals and similar venues.
“This is something that’s been on our hearts to do for a while,” Joe says.
“It’s been a passion of ours to form a group and go out into the community and perform, and we want outreach to be a big part of what we do. We want to go to retirement communities, hospitals and different settings like that to be able to minister with the music.”
The group’s name, Vocus, comes from the Latin word “vocis,” meaning of the voice, tone or expression.
“We want to be a voice in the community to encourage and uplift others,” Joe explains.
The ensemble, which rehearses once a week at the Ecksteins’ home, currently is working on a program of Christmas music, but Joe says Vocus will perform throughout the year.
“We’ll sing a variety of music,” he says. “After Christmas, we’ll do some Irish Celtic stuff around St. Patrick’s Day, some patriotic music for the Fourth of July, and probably some general folk songs to more contemporary inspirational pop music. We’ll probably do some jazz and multicultural music, too. We’re looking to have a good variety.”
The Ecksteins held auditions for the group and, according to Joe, discovered several talented vocalists. In addition to Joe and Kristen – both of whom have extensive music and musical theater backgrounds – the group includes High Point worship pastor Dusty Lucas, who performed for four years at the popular Sight & Sound Theatre in Lancaster County, Pa. A church music director on and off for more than 10 years, he’s currently a worship pastor and pastor of older adults at First Wesleyan Church.
“I thought this would be a good opportunity to do something a little different,” says Lucas, who lives in Randleman. “And the outreach opportunity definitely appealed to me. I like the idea of using music to encourage and uplift people in the community.”
Other ensemble members include Angie Rush of Greensboro, who has an extensive musical background and currently sings with the praise team at Life Community Church in Jamestown; Tina Forlines, who is the director of music at Christ Community Church in Greensboro; Anna Jones of Greensboro; and Troy Hurst of Winston-Salem.
“We have some very talented vocalists,” Joe says, “and we’re excited about having the opportunity to perform.”
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While Vocus charges for private singing engagements, the seven-member a cappella group also is available to perform at retirement communities, nursing homes, hospitals and in similar settings at no charge.
For more information, or to book a performance, call (336) 510-9629 or send an email to vocus@ArtsImagine.com.
You also can learn more about Vocus by visiting the group’s website at vocus.artsimagine.com.