Composing Together: Spring Choral and Orchestral Concert & Gala
Ehrer Theatre, Lick-Wilmerding High School, April 27, 2012
Hello faithful readers. Thank you for the feedback you have given me. First, I want to give you a bit more background about our artistic director, William Sauerland. He was also the Director of Vocal Music at Lick-Wilmerding High School. This is how the collaboration between our chorus and these high school singers came about and how we were guests of these young people on their spring concert. In preparation for this concert, our chorus and the students began rehearsing "Harvey Milk: A Cantata," a new work composed by Jack Curtis Dubowsky with words by Harvey Milk. I will be writing more about this in next week's entry.
This concert highlighted Lick-Wilmerding's various musical entities. The evening began with selections of chamber music by J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Karl Abel and Edward Elgar. The next part of the concert featured their chamber orchestra. Their first piece is what gave the concert its name - Composing Together: The Orchestra Project. They played a couple of songs that had their world premiere - "Malted Milk Ball Gelato" and "Waking Up." These were followed by more traditional chamber orchestra pieces by Gyorgy Ligeti and Leroy Anderson.
After intermission, the high school Vocal Ensemble sang three Beatles songs, "Can't Buy Me Love," "If I Fell," and "Eleanor Rigby" and finished with "Not While I'm Around" by Stephen Sondheim.
Next the Women's Chorus sang "Always Remember," which is a traditional Irish blessing. Next was "The Water is Wide" and they finished with "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." Next the small women's group The Waves sang "I Got Rhythm" and "Mr. Sandman."
Next the Men's Chorus came on and sang "Set Me As a Seal" by L. Farnell. Next was an Irish folk song "Star of the County Down" with our Jason LeBrun accompanying them on flute. The men ended with "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python star Eric Idle.
LGCSF was next on the program and we sang "Look to the Rainbow" and "Down by the Sally Garden" with Jason accompanying us on flute. The evening ended with all singers onstage to sing a sneak peek of "Harvey Milk: A Cantata - Movement I: Recruit You." The final piece was Leonard Cohen's beautiful hymn "Hallelujah."
This concert was a real learning experience for all of us as this was the first time we had been invited by a high school music department to take part in one of their concerts. It was good for us to hear these wonderful young musicians playing and singing their music. Certainly we had a new audience in the form of all the parents and families of the students and we felt welcomed by all of them.
Next week's entry will be the 34th Annual Pride Concert 2012.
Cheers, Michael Lucero