Alash throat singers this weekend

Submitted photo of Alash

Joseph Pratt

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The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPPA) and Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA), in partnership with the Ohio Arts Council (OAC), will be welcoming throat singing group Alash to the VRCFA stage on Thursday, October 23 at 7:30 p.m.

“This past summer, the Ohio Arts Council contacted me to ask if the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association and Shawnee State University would host a free concert by Alash for the community,” VRCFA Director Joe Patti said. “We are honored that Portsmouth was selected as one of four communities in Ohio to participate in this project.”

Throat singing originates from the small country of Tuva which is nestled between Siberia and Mongolia.

“Until recently, the remarkable technique which allows the human voice to produce multiple pitches simultaneously, was virtually unknown,” Patti explained. “Indeed, when one first tries to replicate the sound, it seems inevitable the result will be a ruined voice. The truth is, when correctly practiced there is no more strain involved than when speaking.”

Patti went on to discuss how throat singing has even made its way into pop culture, most popularly with Big Bang Theory character Sheldon Cooper, who often throat sings as a hobby during some episodes.

“Attending a concert is both a weird and wonderful experience,” Patti said. “Even if you have never heard throat singing before, chances are, you will leave the concert trying to do it yourself because it seems impossible that the human voice box can produce such sounds.”

The performance at the Vern Riffe Center is being offered at no cost to residents, thanks to an effort by the Ohio Arts Council’s International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour (IMPACT).

IMPACT is a program of the Ohio Arts Council and is supported by the Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Crane Group and General Mills Foundation.

In addition to Portsmouth, Alash will also perform in Medina, Marietta and Urbana during October.

Additional information on the concert, including sample videos, may be found on the SOPAA website at, as well as the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts website at Information can also be had by calling the McKinley Box Office at 740-351-3600.

“Even though throat singing may be generally unfamiliar to people, I have actually worked with other throat singing groups on three different occasions,” SSU’s Vern Riffe Center for the Arts Director Joe Patti said. “When the Ohio Arts Council approached us about offering a performance and some educational outreaches for free, I jumped at the opportunity.”

Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.

Submitted photo of Alash photo of Alash
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