Brighter Side

04/16/12

 

Brighter Side

The BRIGHTER SIDE SINGERS are a highly successful and respected student organization from Temple City High School. Our mission is to reach out to our community, using the vehicle of performing arts, to promote a positive image of the youth of today, to help motivate and inspire those around us, and encourage joy and hope for the possibilities of our collective tomorrows.
 

BRIGHTER SIDE SINGERS/VOCAL ARTS GROUPS—A HISTORY

Temple City High School opened in 1955 and began with a choir of 24 girls and 8 boys; there was also a “swing group” consisting of 8 girls.  In 1956, the “Bells” were formed (6 girls) and the choir was called the “Choraliers.”  By 1957, there were various vocal groups, such as the “Temple Belles” “Hi-Fi’s” and the “Choraliers” as well; The “Concert Choir,” 64-voices strong and under the direction of Roger Lockie, made its debut at the Christmas Show in 1957, and they performed for the PTA, the Easter assembly and the Spring Music Festival. The Belles “made their debut at the Masonic Temple in Monrovia, and also performed at the San Marino exchange assembly, Thanksgiving assembly, and at numerous churches, women’s clubs, fashion shows and school activities.”  (This group was the forerunner to the Brighter Side Singers.)

By 1960, other sub-groups had emerged, such as Men’s Quartet; Men’s Octet; New Madrigals; Acapella Choir; and Temple Chimes (who were trainees for the Temple Belles.)  The Temple Belles continued to practice for 45 minutes each day before school, and performed over 40 times that year.  1961 saw the Acapella Choir (Concert Choir) grow to 93 voices, and The Temple Belles to 13 voices; Girls Glee Club, 26-members total, “studied music and its application by appearing in school functions in preparation for future years.”  The bigger choirs performed wearing the traditional choir robes; Temple Belles wore dresses in the style of the day. 

As the 60’s progressed, the main groups were the Acapella Choir, Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers, and in 1969, the “Brighter Side Singers” appeared for the first time, according to this entry in the ’69 yearbook:  “The ‘Brighter Side Singers’ was the name chosen by the former Chamber Singers this year to identify their performing group.  The group consists of both boys and girls, though the girls perform separately from the boys, occasionally.  As a separate group they are knows as the Temple Belles.  The singers appear in about one hundred performances a year, singing for womens’ club, conventions, meetings and statewide functions.”  The 1971 yearbook explained that “new members of the group try out each year in May.  They are selected by the current group on the basis of their own singing quality, ability to blend with other voices, and overall showmanship and projection.”  The average number of performers in the group can vary between 24 and 28 singers.

The 1970’s saw groups such as Men’s Acapella Choir and Girl’s Acapella Choir; Also Men’s Chorus and Girl’s Chorus, in addition to the Brighter Side Singers.  By the 1980’s there was Women’s Chorus, Concert Choir and Brighter Sides. Other men’s sub-groups to emerge through the decades were the Seniors Four in 1964; the Quadraphonics in 1993 and 6AM (six acapella men) in 2006; these groups would often perform specialty numbers, in various styles including jazz and do-wop.  6AM went as far as to record their own CD during the 2005-2006 school year.  These men’s ensembles, as well as “Crescendo” (an occasional, male and female small group since the 1990’s) were also members of the Brighter Side Singers.  As the “Temple Chimes” were trainees for the Temple Belles in 1960, other girls’ groups such as “Daybreak” and “Rhapsody” were trainees for the Brighter Side Singers in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  

Brighter Side Singer’s tours have included trips to England, Wales & Holland in 1971; New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Salem & Washington D.C. in 1976; Western Europe in 1979; East Coast in 1989 for the first “America Sings” festival; Western Europe again in 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2006; and numerous tours to Canada, San Francisco and the East Coast throughout the 1990’s & 2000’s. 

Roger Lockie remained the vocal director until 1983, when Carole Renick (Hickey) took over for 3+ years; in 1987, Matt Byers became the director of Brighter Sides Singers and all the choirs, up to the present day.  Although the earlier Brighter Side groups were more   acapella “chamber singers” type of groups, by the late 1980’s they added more dancing/movement and props,  and became a “show choir” as they are today in 2007.  Accompanists for Brighter Side Singers, since the mid-1980’s include Brad Steed, Karen Sease, Nadine Piasecki, Robin Nixon and Jon Howie.

Performance venues for the Brighter Side Singers have been many and varied throughout the last 50 years, and include performances at local churches, synagogues, restaurants, country clubs, hotels, conventions, the music center in Los Angeles, and for America Sings, music exchanges with other schools, choir festivals & competitions, Baseball games (Dodgers, Padres, Expos, Mets,) award ceremonies, weddings, Chinese New Year celebrations, Women’s Clubs, and for television and radio.

Sources:

TCHS yearbooks; Jon Howie, ©2007

 

This site was last updated 12/01/10