The German Fach tradition thrives at the Alton Little Theater

ALTON – In the tradition of Germany’s Vocal Fach system, Alton Little Theater (ALT) will launch its “Extra, Extra Entertainment” series, with “Fach Tradition” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 30. 1 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 2.

First, to explain the German Fach system. It is a method of classifying singers, mainly opera singers, according to the range, weight and color of their voices. It is used worldwide, but mainly in Europe, especially in German-speaking countries and by repertory operas. ALT’s special engagement concert “Fach Tradition” of folk songs and traditions is the brainchild of composer, musician, singer and actor Miles Brenton.

Brenton will be joined by Sawyer Burton and Matthew Billins as the voice in an a cappella trio of classically trained male singers with a passion for choral music. The trio brings a vast repertoire of international folk songs with some country, blues, opera and musical theatre.

“FACH is not an acronym, but represents a folk tradition of four-part harmonies in which opera singers and serious singers were trained,” explained Cox, ALT Executive Director Lee Cox, ” primarily in Europe, but the tradition has grown quite a following in the United States – and, yes, we pronounce Fach with care!

“Miles is very active in the music scenes in St. Louis and southern Illinois,” Cox said. “He actually just opened the lead role in ‘The Bee Play’ at the New Jewish Theater at the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis, and KDHX did an interview with him last week.”

Cox and Brenton will split airtime on WBGZ’s “My Mix” lineup at 94.3 FM at 10:10 a.m. Wednesday, she noted.

Brenton will also appear at the Alton Farmers Market on Saturday, September 17 to sing at the Alton Little Theater booth.

The Showplace Theater, 2450 N. Henry St., Alton, opens one hour before curtain up for “Fach Tradition” evening performances of the Extra Series, Extra Entertainment at 7:30 p.m. and matinee performances at 2:00 p.m. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of the House Manager and at an appropriate break in the action of the play.

Food service has reopened, but patrons are encouraged not to congregate in the Dorothy Colonius lobby and instead purchase reusable sealed cups that can be taken into the auditorium to enjoy drinks while watching the show.

Additionally, as part of ALT’s Extra, Extra Entertainment series, a week after the “Fach Tradition” run, Alton Little Theater is co-sponsoring a fall activity with The Post Commons, “Lunch with Mr. Lincoln & Friends,” at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8 at The Post Commons, 300 Alby St., Alton. Up to 60 guests will dine on a four-course heritage lunch.

“It’s going to be a crazy, wonderful week of performances,” Cox said.

The final engagements in the Extra, Extra series will take place in 2023, with “Sinatra: Last Call,” February 10-12, and “Gee’s Band: A Tribute to Women’s History, the Art of Quilting and America’s Heritage,” February 24 March to 26.

Tickets for all Extra, Extra Entertainment Series engagements are on sale now. Tickets are available through and through the Showplace box office at 618-462-3205.

James R. Rhodes