BC professors perform on America's Got Talent - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

BC professors perform on America's Got Talent

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Dr. Ben Thorburn Dr. Ben Thorburn
Colleen Thorburn Colleen Thorburn

BLUEFIELD Va. -- Bluefield College's got talent!

When contestants perform tonight in the wildly popular NBC television show America's Got Talent, two Bluefield College music professors will be among the participants vying for the summer series' million-dollar prize.

BC music instructors Dr. Ben Thorburn, an assistant professor of music, and his wife, Colleen Thorburn, an adjunct instructor of music, will join 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra in a quarterfinal performance, Tuesday, August 13 at 9 p.m., broadcast live on WVVA from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Contestants in America's Got Talent (AGT) are currently performing in quarterfinal rounds to advance to the semi-finals. Semi-finalists will be determined by the votes of AGT viewers. The results of the quarterfinal competition that includes 3Penny and the Bluefield College musicians will be announced during an America's Got Talent episode, Wednesday, August 14 at 9 p.m.

"We are thrilled to be a part of this group at this stage of the competition," said Ben Thorburn. "Please watch and vote for us."

Ben Thorburn is a bass-baritone singer who has performed widely as a soloist. He also is an experienced conductor and musical director in both church and musical theatre settings. Colleen Thorburn specializes in harp with a regular performance base ranging as far as New York and New England. An experienced chamber musician and soloist, she has played principal harp in opera, ballet, and concert orchestras across the United States.     

3Penny Chorus and Orchestra, founded and directed by Arianne Abela and Colin Britt, is a volunteer ensemble with members from across the country that specializes in classical covers of contemporary pop songs. Formed in 2012, most of the group's 52 members are classically trained musicians who come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, including performers, students, teachers, doctors, dentists, pastors, designers, graduate students and retirees.

The group's classical rendition of the pop song "Call Me Maybe" earlier this season on AGT helped advance the team on to the reality show's quarterfinals. 3Penny also performed live on NBC's Today show last fall.

In its eighth season, America's Got Talent is NBC's top-rated summer series. With a talent search open to acts of all ages and assortments, AGT has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of theAmerican spirit, featuring a colorful array of hopeful stars, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians and ventriloquists, all vying for a chance to strut and perform on the big stage, while winning America's heart and a chance at one million dollars.

Produced by Simon Cowell, America's Got Talent is hosted by actor and comedian Nick Cannon and judged by TV host, comedian and producer Howie Mandel; radio personality and author Howard Stern; supermodel, designer and TV host Heidi Klum; and entertainer and former Spice Girl Mel B.

To vote for 3Penny Chorus and Orchestra following the group's August 13 performance, viewers may call a toll-free number provided for 3Penny fans during the show, or they may vote online at NBC.com or via NBC social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

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